Edelman up 11.6% in 2012/13 as revenues top $700m

NEW YORK: Edelman, the world's largest PR firm, grew 11.6% organically in its latest financial year, with global revenues rising from $636.4 million to $707 million, according to figures seen exclusively by PRWeek.

NEW YORK: Edelman, the world's largest PR firm, grew 11.6% organically in its latest financial year, with global revenues rising from $636.4 million to $707 million, according to figures seen exclusively by PRWeek.

The figures represent trading between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, and are up on global organic growth of 10.8% in the year prior. They compare favorably with Edelman's 2012 calendar year global revenue figures of $665.6 million (9.6% up year-over-year), and US revenue of $406.3 million (up 6% year-on-year.)

US financial-year trading bounced back strongly, with growth of 9.7% to $429.9 million, up from $392 million in FY 2011/12. However, the US showed the lowest growth of all Edelman's trading regions, although it still accounts for 60% of its revenue.

“The US had a stronger second half than first half, driven by digital work for Samsung, new public affairs work for Yum! Brands, and PA work for Samsung around its litigation with Apple,” said agency president and CEO Richard Edelman.

Asia-Pacific grew 20.6% organically, to $85.6 million, and has tripled in the last three years, with China contributing $25 million; India $14 million.

EMEA was up 10.5% to $140.5 million; with particularly strong growth in the Middle East - $10 million revenue - from clients such as Starbucks and HP. In the next financial year, the Middle East and Africa will be rolled into and classified with the Asia-Pac region, under the leadership of David Brain.

Latin America posted the highest increase, up 24.1% to $19.6 million, driven by revenues of $12 million in Brazil and wins such as Adidas. Canada was up 13.7% to $31.4 million.

At 18% of revenues, technology is now Edelman's second-biggest business after consumer, which accounts for 28%, followed by corporate (15%) and healthcare (15%), then public affairs (12%). Tech was particularly buoyed by work for Adobe, Canon, and SAP.

The agency's four biggest clients are Unilever (driven especially by work for Axe and Dove), followed by Samsung, Microsoft Xbox, and HP. “We still have three pharma clients in our top 10, whereas in previous years they would have been in the top five,” said Edelman.

Around 15% of Edelman's global business is now digital, rising to 20% in the US. “There is increasing integration between corporate and marketing,” said Edelman. “We used to be a marketing PR firm; now we are a marketing, corporate, and digital firm.”

He added that every $10 spent in a typical integrated relationship with a large client now comprises about $5 of brand marketing, $2.50 digital, and $2.50 corporate – whereas 10 years ago that equation would be $9 brand marketing; $1 corporate. Advertising revenue makes up about 0.5% of total revenue.

Edelman subsidiary Zeno Group, which reports separately, grew an impressive 61.7%, from $16.6 million to $26.8 million. Zeno and Edelman's holding company, DJE Holdings, thus grew 12.9%, to $733.9 million. DJE Holdings grew 13% in Q2 year-over-year.

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