There may be a little doom and gloom around many of the holding companies this reporting season, but not so Interpublic Group that posted some impressive fourth quarter and full-year results over night in the US.
IPG announced a 7.1 per cent organic revenue growth to $US2.4 billion and a 5.5 per cent increase to $US8 billion, respectively.
That means the company had over-delivered on its initial promise of a 4-4.5 per cent organic growth in Q4.
IPG’s net income was up more than 27 per cent in the period to $US342.5 million, with an 11.8 per cent increase to to $637.7 million for 2018.
Interestingly, it was IPG’s overseas operations that led the way, growing eight per cent. While US revenue was up 6.3 per cent.
IPG CEO Michael Roth (main photo) said: “Overall, 2018 was a very successful year, with outstanding financial results, coupled with a significant, future-facing acquisition.
“Our results for the year further demonstrate the strength of our client centric integrated offerings and the quality of our people, which have produced leading organic growth and margin improvement over a period of many years.
“It underscores a distinctive level of achievement amid significant change in our industry and the environment in which we operate.”
Interestingly, Roth said it was IPG’s creative agencies that had had a “notably strong” strong 2018 and singled out McCann, R/GA and its PR arm, Weber Shandwick, for their efforts.
However, Roth added that 2019 wouldn’t be without its headwinds. “Shared concerns around macro issues, which include the ageing economic expansion, political turmoil, international trade and interest rates,” could all weigh on IPG’s business, Roth said.
IPG’s success is in direct contrast to Publicis Groupe’s fortunes. Last Friday, its share price plunged 15 per cent on the Paris stock market after it announced negative growth of -2.6 per cent in North America in Q4, blaming budget cuts in the FMCG sector.