“The past year was a challenging one,” wryly observed Interpublic Group ceo John Dooner as he spoke with analysts after unveiling IPG’s full year accounts for 2001.

Net income for 2001, excluding restructuring and other exceptional costs, reached $359.2 million (€413.9m; £252.9m) – significantly below the previous year’s $570.3 million.

The 4.8% year-on-year fall in global revenues ignored Foote Cone & Belding, acquired in March 2001. Had FCB’s figures been factored in, group revenue slippage would have zoomed to 6.3% due to the network’s loss of the Chrysler business. IPG’s all-inclusive revenue total was $6.7 billion compared to $7.2bn in 2000.

The fourth quarter reflected the worst of the recession with global revenues plummeting 17% year-on-year. During the same quarter US revenues fared even worse, slumping from $1.1bn year-on-year to $919m – a fall of 19%.

Dooner attributed the decline to a “very difficult advertising environment, particularly in the United States, as well as reduced demand for other marketing services in the wake of weak economic activity.”

Data sourced from: AdWeek.com; additional content by WARC staff