If Recession's a Lemon, Omnicom's Ceo Aims to 'Make Lemonade'

22 October 2008

NEW YORK: Despite reporting cheerful Q3 numbers, Omnicom Group stock fell by over 7% on Tuesday, closing at $30.88 in New York – nonetheless bettering the fortunes of its marketing services peers.

Third-quarter net income at the world's largest agency conglomerate rose 5.6% to $214 million (€163.33m; £127.1m) on revenues up 6.9%  to $3.32 billion, inflating diluted earnings per share by 11.3% to $0.69.

But there's pessimism afoot about the economic future. Clients, says Omnicom ceo John Wren are "cautious and confused", focusing on the "chatter" about the financial crisis.

"There hasn't been a lot of clear actionable information derived from clients above that chatter level," he added; while cfo Randall Weisenburger admitted to "far less visibility" about future revenues than is usual at this stage of the year.

But the Omnicom party-line remains upbeat, its executives insisting that the pipeline of potential acquisition targets at "reasonable" prices had improved and predicting that the group will  find opportunities even in a sustained recession.

“We'll make lemonade out of the lemons that we're served,” chirruped Wren.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff