Omnicom steady in Q3 2018 but that seems to be the plan

Omnicom has reported steady Q3 2018 performance with organic revenue growth of 2.9 per cent although most of this has come from Europe and Asia with US organic growth inching ahead by just 0.6 per cent.

There was a small dip of 0.1 per cent in Q3 revenue which Omnicom blamed on new US accounting rules, currency fluctuations and less M&A activity. Omnicom closed or sold a number of businesses in the quarter resulting in a decrease in headcount of about 7,000.

By discipline advertising was up four per cent, PR 2.3 per cent and healthcare 2.9 per cent. Omnicom splits CRM into “experience” and “execution,” with the former up 5.5 per cent and the latter down 3.6 per cent.

Long time rival Sir Martin Sorrell recently said that Omnicom had “great businesses but no strategy.” The strategy seems fairly clear, tidying up the sprawling group by selling off non-core businesses and banking on an eventual upturn in the US ad market where the likes of BBDO, TBWA and DDB are all relatively strong, as are its media agencies.

CEO John Wren seems to have little appetite for modish mergers like new WPP CEO Mark Read’s welding together of VML and Y&R.

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