The Interpublic Group (IPG) has announced profit in the first quarter of 2021 was up 1.9 per cent, while posting revenues of $US2 billion ($A2.6 billion) over the three months. Further to that, Australia was singled out as being one of its strongest performing territories.
Commenting on the numbers, IPG’s chief executive Philippe Krakowsky (main photo) said the result was impressive given the constraints of COVID and that it’s a typically quieter period for ad spends.
Krakowsky said: “Return to organic revenue growth is a sign that our clients have begun to pivot to an investment mindset as they look to build their brands and grow their businesses in line with the broader economic recovery.
“Our return to growth, coupled with the benefits of strategic restructuring actions taken last year, and certain variable expenses that remain at very low levels, led to outstanding margin performance this quarter,” he said.
Krakowsky even predicted that the holding company would return to growth levels closer to six per cent over 2021.
It means that IPG was the third best of the holding companies when it came to reporting their Q1 numbers.
WPP reported 3.1 per cent growth overnight. Publicis was up 2.8 per cent, IPG up 1.9 per cent, Havas down 0.8 per cent, Omnicom was down 1.8 per cent. Dentsu is yet to report
However, the result was also borne from 1500 roles being made redundant and shrinking salaries by four per cent. Krakowsky also noted that COVID had also eliminated the agency’s business travel costs.
Contrary to that, IPG’s events and sports marketing businesses had taken a heavy COVID hit over the past year.
IPG’s chief financial officer Ellen Johnson commented: “We grew in every international region, which is a notable improvement from Q4. Continental Europe grew 12.4 per cent with increases in every major national market, including Spain, Germany, Italy and France, driven by increased spend from existing clients with double-digit growth.”
Johnson added that IPG saw strong gains in Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. While there was “notably strong performance in the Middle East”.
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