Omnicom PR revenue up 7.7% in Q4

PR outpaced Omnicom's other segments in terms of revenue growth in the fourth quarter. For the full year, the PR firms recorded organic revenue growth of 2.8%.

Omnicom Public Relations Group CEO Karen van Bergen.
Omnicom Public Relations Group CEO Karen van Bergen.

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group’s PR segment recorded 7.7% organic revenue growth in the fourth quarter, compared with the prior year, to $358.9 million.

The sector’s organic growth rate outpaced all other Omnicom segments in the period, during which advertising was up 4.6%, CRM 0.4%, and specialty communications 5.7%. The holding company’s overall revenue reached $4.2 billion in the fourth quarter, an organic increase of 3.6% compared with fourth quarter 2015.

Omnicom Public Relations Group CEO Karen van Bergen noted that the holding company’s PR firms were "pleased to end the year positively in terms of both revenue and profit margin."

"Looking ahead to 2017, our agencies have strong growth plans in place focused on making smart investments in key strategic areas of their businesses, and we look forward to delivering on those plans as we move forward," she said, via email.

The holding company reported net income of $350.3 million in the period and operating profit of $601.9 million, both up compared with the fourth quarter of 2015.

North American growth was eclipsed by other regions in the fourth quarter, with organic growth of 0.6% to $2.5 billion. U.K. operations saw a revenue increase of 8.5% to $359.1 million, European markets were up 6.2% to $723.1 million, Asia-Pacific increased 9.5% to $462.7 million, and Africa and the Middle East jumped 29% to $92.8 million. Latin American operations saw an organic revenue decrease of 6.2% to $137 million.

Omnicom owns and operates FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Marina Maher Communications, and several other comms agencies.

For 2016 as a whole, Omnicom’s PR segment recorded organic growth of 2.8% to $1.4 billion. Advertising revenue was up 5.9% to $8.2 billion and specialty communications revenue increased 4.6% to $1.1 billion. The CRM segment's revenue dropped 0.3% in the period to $4.3 billion. The holding company's overall revenue was up 3.5% organically to $15.4 billion last year.

North America was again outpaced by other regions in terms of full-year revenue growth. The region reported 2.4% revenue growth in the period to $9.2 billion, but grew at a slower pace than the U.K. (4.9% to $1.4 billion), Europe (4% to $2.5 billion), Asia-Pacific (6.9% to $1.6 billion), and Africa and the Middle East (11.7% to $278.9 million.

The holding company's operating profit for 2016 was $2 billion and its net income $1.1 billion, both improvements on the year prior.

*Organic growth represents change in revenue without taking into account acquisitions or disposals. This story was updated on February 7 with quotes from van Bergen.

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