DUBLIN, IRELAND: WPP Group's PR and public affairs revenue grew 1.9% on a like-for-like basis in the first quarter of 2012, excluding the impact of currency fluctuations or acquisitions compared with the previous year, to approximately $297.6 million.
The holding company said in an earnings report Friday morning that Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe showed the strongest growth of its PR and PA agencies in Q1.
Overall, WPP's Q1 revenue was up 4% on a like-for-like basis compared with the previous year to about $3.2 billion, beating analysts' expectations. In North America, revenue grew 1.4% on a like-for-like basis compared with Q1 2011, to $1.1 billion. Gross margin was up 4% in the quarter at the world's largest marketing services holding company.
WPP owns and operates Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Cohn & Wolfe, Quinn Gillespie, and Dewey Square Group, among other firms.
Omnicom Group's PR revenue was up 4% organically in the first quarter compared with Q1 2011, while Next Fifteen Communications Group reported 4% year-over-year organic revenue growth for the six months ending January 31. Havas saw 3.6% Q1 organic revenue growth in North America, year over year.