NEW YORK: Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky said the PR firms within Interpublic Group’s Constituency Management Group saw mid-single-digit growth on both an organic and as-reported basis in the first quarter.
He added that Weber recorded high-single-digit growth on an organic and as-reported basis, on top of double-digit growth in the quarter last year.
"Weber and Golin continue to generate strong growth in relation to industry competitors," Polansky said.
CMG, which contains most of Interpublic’s PR firms, reported 3.2% organic revenue growth in the first quarter to $340.4 million (£236.3 million/€302.6 million).
The period was compared to the first quarter of 2015, when CMG reported a 1.6% organic revenue increase over the year before.
CMG contains Weber Shandwick, Golin, and DeVries, as well as other marketing firms such as Jack Morton, FutureBrand, and Octagon. Spong sits outside the group.
Polansky added that Weber had 17 markets that saw double-digit growth, led by New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., India, and Hong Kong.
Weber’s Mediaco unit and its brand content marketing operations expanded, and digital work accounted for more than 30% of the firm’s growth. Weber’s consumer and healthcare practices were particularly robust in the quarter, Polansky noted.
"We do see some macro uncertainty in markets such as China, Brazil, and some markets in Europe," he said. "But overall, we continue to be optimistic about our business and the sector more generally."
The holding company’s Integrated Agency Networks division, which includes firms such as McCann Worldgroup, FCB, MullenLowe, and IPG MediaBrands, achieved organic revenue growth of 7.6% in the quarter to $1.4 billion.
Interpublic as a whole reported organic revenue growth of 6.7% to $1.7 billion (£1.2 billion/€1.55 billion), including 8.3% in the U.S., in Q1. Operating income was up 167.9% to $20.9 million (£14.5 million/€18.6 million), and the holding company improved on the Q1 2015 net loss of $4.2 million with net income of $2.7 million (£1.87 million/2.4 million) in the first quarter of this year. Its operating margin was 1.2%, up 70 basis points.
Broken down by geography, organic revenue was up 4.3% internationally, including 3.5% in the U.K., 1.7% in Continental Europe, 2.7% in Asia-Pacific, 11.6% in Latin America, and 7.4% in all other markets.
*Organic revenue represents change without taking into account the impact of currency changes, acquisitions or disposals.