NEW YORK: Omnicom Group, the advertising agency holding company, posted a 15.8% decline in revenues during the first half of this year, to $5.6bn (€3.9bn; £3.4bn), with net income falling by 22.8%, to $397.9m, over the same period.

The American conglomerate reported that its "advertising" division delivered 44.6% of revenues over the opening six months of the year, but also registered a 14.3% decline in sales, to $2.5bn.

Customer relationship management, which delivers $2.1bn of sales, or 36.6% of the total, was also down by 16% in all.

Of its smaller operations, PR contracted by 18%, to $531m, while its "speciality" operations also shrank by 20.1%, to $520.6m.

Each of these divisions, with the exception of the company's "speciality" units, saw revenues fall more dramatically in the second quarter than in the first.

Omnicom's overall figures demonstrated this, with net income down 24%, to $233.4m in Q2, and total revenue by 17.4%, to $2.9bn, including a slide of 12.9% in the US and 22% elsewhere.

For the year to date, its US revenues declined by 10.4%, to $3.4bn, from January to June on an annual basis, with its international operations off by 21.4%, to $2.6bn.

John Wren, the company's ceo, said "the revenue decline in the second quarter was slightly greater than we had anticipated with the greatest pressure occurring in just a few areas," and particularly the automotive sector.

However, Wren added he was "encouraged especially by discussions I have had primarily in the last six to eight weeks with major global advertisers".

Similarly, he expected "new business opportunities in the second half of this year will exceed prior year activity," although he also warned investors to expect "modest economic growth going into 2010."

Earlier this week, Publicis Groupe reported that its total revenues fell by just 0.8%, to €2.2 billion, in the period from January to June, while its net income fell from €192m to €167m.

Data sourced from Omnicom Group; additional content by WARC staff