Interpublic inches ahead of rivals in 2020

Interpublic has announced its full year and Q4 2020 results and, as has been the case recently, they’re just ahead of Europe-based rival Publicis Groupe (and probably other rivals yet to report) with fourth quarter reported net revenue of $2.28 billion, a decrease of 6.1% from Q1 2020. Organic net revenue decreased 5.4%.

In Q4 the US was down 1.8% in organic net revenue with the world outside 10.8%, testimony to the US economy’s resilience.

Full year 2020 delivered a net revenue decrease of 6.5% with organic net revenue decrease at 4.8%. Full year reported net income was $351.1 million (profit) including hefty restructuring charges of $413.8m. There was a further restructuring charge of $253.9 million in Q1 2021 as IPG cut back including exiting expensive office leases. Good job McCann in the UK has already taken possession of its posh new HQ.

This is Philippe Krakowsky’s first outing as CEO replacing IPG veteran Michael Roth and, as you’d expect from a former CFO, there’s some clearing of the decks with restructuring charges.

Krakowsky (above) says: “As expected, our results this quarter continue to reflect the effect of the pandemic. Under challenging conditions, we reported a solid fourth quarter, especially in the US, and full year performance that once again should place us at the top of our sector. We continued to be disciplined with respect to expenses, proactive and strategic in our approach to structural cost actions, while simultaneously investing in our business during the year to accelerate areas of strongest opportunity and growth.

““Heading into 2021, we are confident of the strength and competitiveness of our offerings, the talent within our group, and the value that our services can deliver by ensuring that clients’ businesses and brands thrive in the digital economy…we fully expect to return to positive organic growth over the course of the year, and to post full-year 2021 growth.”

This is a corrected version of an earlier story.

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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.