NEW YORK: Interpublic Group's woe-meter stubbornly refused to budge from the red line yesterday (Thursday), as the marketing services holding company posted a greater than expected quarterly loss, attributing it to increased salary costs and weak revenues in Asia and Europe.

Although larger than forecast, the latest deficit of $132.8 million (€98.28m; £66.96m) is a marked improvement on Q1 2006 when the IPG woe-meter sank to minus $182.1m.

Revenues reflected a chink of light, bettering analysts' expectations of $1.35 billion by coming in at $1.36bn. Salary costs, however, rose 4% during the quarter to March 31. They were slightly offset by a reduction in 'office and general' expenses.

Chairman/ceo Michael I Roth (pictured above), justified the pay increases as "investments we made in people to support high growth capabilities and to upgrade certain of our offerings".

At Thursday's stock-market close, the lackluster numbers weighed on IPG's share price, which sank 7% to $12.01.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff