Omnicom followed rival Publicis with a strong bounce-back in 2021: In Q4 worldwide revenue was up 2.6% to $3.85bn and organic revenue grew 9.5%. For the full year organic revenue was up by 10.2% (roughly the same as Publicis) and revenue increased 8.5% to $14.29bn.
Full-year profit margin hit 15.4%. In Q4 Omnicom grew 7.8% in the US, 10.8% UK (below), 7.8% Asia-Pacific and 12.7% in Europe.
Omnicom is forecasting 5-6% growth in 2022, higher than pre-pandemic levels.
CEO John Wren says: “Our objective is to increase the number of clients who consolidate their services with Omnicom. That is a significant growth opportunity for us.”
However CFO Phil Angelastro struck a cautious note: “2021 was not a normal year,” he said. “Not all the costs have come back into the business.”
Omnicom has made a series of disposals as well as acquisitions as it seeks growth opportunities in performance marketing and technology, in effect reducing its reliance on big creative networks BBDO, DDB and TWA.
At some stage, like its ad holding company peers, it will have to get the corporate cheque book out to acquire higher growth, digital-based companies, recently the M&A preserve of private equity.