IPG posts profits rise

02 March 2009

NEW YORK: The Interpublic Group posted a net income of $295 million (€235m; £207m) in 2008, more than double its total from the previous year, with revenues rising by 6.2% to $6.96 billion. It also warned that the year ahead will be more challenging.

As Michael Roth, ceo of IPG, said at the recent IAB Annual Meeting, since launching a turnaround plan in 2006, the company has largely transformed analysts' perceptions, and managed to "take 'beleaguered' out of our name."

For 2008 as a whole, IPG's operating income reached $589.7m, compared with $344.4m in 2007.

Annual organic revenue was 3.8%, with acquisitions contributing a further 1.3%, and favourable currency fluctuations and acquisitions adding 1.1%.

Total US revenues rose by 3.7% to $3.79bn, and contributed a total of 54.4% to revenues for the year as a whole.

The company's second biggest market was continental Europe (contributing 16.5% to total revenues), followed by Asia Pacific (9.4%), Latin America (5.1%) and the UK (8.8%).

In Q4, revenues fell to $1.90bn from $1.98bn in the year-ago period, though operating income rose by 21.6% to $330.6m, and operating margins rose to 8.9% compared with 5.6% in Q4 2007.

While hailing "the best performance IPG has delivered in many years", Roth warned that it "was hard to project what revenues will be for 2009".

As such, he estimated that if revenue declined by a "conservative" rate of 2% to 3%, IPG should maintain its margins.

Data sourced from Financial Times/Interpublic Group; additional content by WARC staff