Interpublic sails on as European rivals face headwinds

Interpublic continues to lead the holding company pack in terms of both organic growth and financials although it slowed a little in the second quarter of 2019.

Q2 organic growth was three per cent (4.6 per cent for the half year) with net revenue increasing by 9.1 per cent (11 per cent for the half year.) First half net revenue increased 11 per cent to $4.13bn compared to $3.72bn in the first half of 2018. The results don’t include $2.2bn data business Acxiom, acquired at the end of 2018.

CEO Michael Roth (below) says: “We are pleased with our financial performance this quarter. Our industry leading organic growth is a tribute to the competitiveness of our offerings and strength of our talent.

“Our results in the second quarter were led by strong top-and bottom-line performance in media, as well as growth from our global creative networks, and our public relations and digital offerings. Our second quarter was also highlighted by growth across a broad range of client sectors, including healthcare, financial services, consumer goods and retail.

“Our performance is a reflection of the strength of our offerings, our people and our differentiated strategy. We continue to be pleased with Acxiom, as it has given us an unrivaled industry position in data management capabilities, allowing us to help marketers get the best out of all their data
assets.

“At mid-year, we are confident that our performance to date and the current tone of the business have us on track to deliver growth at the high end of the two-to-three per cent organic growth target.”

Which would put it roughly on a par growth-wise with US rival Omnicom although Omnicom’s revenue fell in its recent results. It’s a stark contrast to Publicis, which reported flat organic growth overall recently, hit by a 1.7 per cent downturn in the US.

The UK’s WPP has yet to report but, for the moment at least, it looks as though it’s ‘America first’ among the ad holding companies.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.