Polansky: 'Low-single-digit' revenue growth for CMG PR firms in Q2

Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky also said his firm and Golin are "poised for strong years."

NEW YORK: The PR firms within Interpublic Group’s Constituency Management Group registered low-single-digit growth on an organic basis in Q2, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky said on Tuesday morning.

The PR agencies also saw mid-single-digit growth on an as-reported basis, he said. The year-over-year numbers were in comparison to a slight revenue decrease on both an as-reported and organic basis in Q2 2017.

"Our PR firms are seeing positive trends in terms of client spending and new business conversion," said Polansky. "Weber and Golin in particular are poised for strong years."

The PR firms in CMG include Weber, Golin, DeVries Global, Current, Creation, and The Axis Agency. The unit also includes marketing specialist agencies such as Jack Morton, FutureBrand, and Octagon. Interpublic’s Integrated Agency Network largely consists of creative networks such as McCann Worldgroup, FCB, and MullenLowe Group.

Interpublic Group’s CMG division as a whole posted an organic revenue increase of 3.7% in Q2 to $319.1 million.

Like the PR firms within CMG, Weber had mid-single-digit growth on an as-reported basis and low-single-digit growth on an organic basis in Q2. The firm saw robust growth in healthcare and technology, Polansky said, and 11 markets registered double-digit organic growth around the globe.

"Our performance in Europe and Asia was very strong," he said.

In May, Weber acquired Cappuccino, a digital marketing and technology agency based in São Paulo. Earlier that month, Weber opened an owned office in Bogota to expand its presence in Latin America. The firm has owned operations in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, as well as affiliate partnerships in Argentina, Chile, and Peru.

"We continue to bolster our digital chops across geographies," said Polansky of Weber. "We are seeing more clients engage us for our consulting capability, particularly in the areas of employee engagement and change management."

He added that "the tone of the business" has improved for Weber.

"I am feeling that we will have a strong back half," said Polansky.

For the entire holding company, IPG posted organic revenue growth of 5.6% in Q2 to $1.9 billion. Operating income was up 10.4% to $249.2 million, and net income increased by 37.3% to $147.8 million. The holding company beat analysts’ expectations, according to Reuters. 

Interpublic Group chairman and CEO Michael Roth said in an emailed statement that growth in the U.S. continued to be strong and international growth accelerated.

"The results were led by exceptional performance in media and at our creatively led integrated agencies, as well as contributions from our digital services, public relations, events, and sports marketing," he said.

Earlier this month, Interpublic Group agreed to acquire global data marketing firm Acxiom Marketing Solutions for $2.3 billion. The company will become part of the IPG Mediabrands portfolio.

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