Omnicom PR firms flat in first quarter

The group's PR revenue grew only 0.7% organically in Q1 to $346.3 million.

NEW YORK: Omnicom Group’s PR revenue grew 0.7% organically in the first quarter to $346.3 million.

The PR results were measured against a first quarter of 2017 in which revenue was up 1.8%.

The holding company owns and operates FleishmanHillard, Ketchum, Porter Novelli, Marina Maher Communications, and other firms under Omnicom Public Relations Group.

For the holding company as a whole, revenue was up 2.4% to $3.6 billion. Net income increased 9.2% to $264.1 million in the period, while operating profit improved by 1.4% to $421.7 million. Omnicom’s operating profit margin percentage was 11.6% in the quarter, unchanged when compared to Q1 2017.

Omnicom’s other business segments outpaced public relations in Q1. Advertising revenue increased 1.6% organically in the period to $1.9 billion, while CRM execution and support increased 1.2% to $508.6 million, and CRM consumer experience grew 6.9% to $634.9 million, organically. Its healthcare work was up 2.7% organically to $238.5 million.

Revenue in North America, Omnicom’s largest region, was down 0.1% in Q1 to nearly $2 billion. Africa and the Middle East was also down 8.5% to $73.4 million. Revenue growth in the U.K. was 3.1% in the first quarter to $358 million, and it improved by 9.7% in other European markets to $712.1 million. Revenue growth in Asia-Pacific was 7.3% organically in the period to $392 million. Latin American revenue increased 3.1% organically to $108.4 million.

"Omnicom PR Group showed slight growth in Q1, with strong momentum behind new business wins including Aclaris Therapeutics, AARP Foundation, Medifast, Oath, TransUnion, and Tom Tom," Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen van Bergen told PRWeek via email.

She added that agencies expanded work with existing clients AB InBev, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, S&P Global, and Novartis.

Organic revenue represents change without taking into account the impact of acquisitions or disposals.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with comment from van Bergen on April 17, 2018.

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