Posting first-quarter results, the Interpublic Group of Companies reported revenue growth of just 6%, from $1.23 billion in Q1 2000 to $1.3bn.

Operating income increased 11% from $117.5 million to $130.4m; net income edged up from $63.7m to $65.3m; and net new business rose from $702m to $827m.

Overall earnings showed a loss of 12 cents per share, dragged down by charges of $36m for restructuring the Lowe Lintas & Partners unit and $160m written-off in web investments, in particular the struggling MarchFirst. Excluding these items, earnings stood at 21 cents per share.

Looking ahead, chief financial officer Sean Orr forecast a “single digits” Q2 revenue increase, followed by “double-digit growth” in the second half. Overall earnings predictions for 2001 remain at $1.40 to $1.45 per share.

Commented ceo John Dooner: “We’re being much more realistic about the outlook for the second half,” adding that European economies are beginning to falter in the second quarter, in the same way that the US did in the first.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline