Interpublic claims 'cautious optimism' despite 42% fall in operating income

LONDON - Interpublic Group, parent to McCann Erickson, Universal McCann and Initiative, posted an operating income fall of 42.1% for 2009, to $341m.

Michael Roth: chairman and chief executive of Interpublic
Michael Roth: chairman and chief executive of Interpublic

The bulk of Interpublic's operating income came in the fourth quarter, when the US-based agency earned $268m. It was still down 18.9% from the fourth quarter of 2008.

Revenues at Interpublic were $6.03bn during 2009, down 13.4% from 2008. However, including the effect of foreign currency translation and the impact of net acquisitions, the resulting organic decrease in revenue was eased to 10.8% year on year.

Revenues between October and December 2009 were $1.8bn, down 5.3% from the same period in 2008. However, when the effect of foreign currency translation was included in the final quarter, the organic revenue decrease was 8.2%.

The bulk of Interpublic revenue comes from the US – 55.9% in 2009. The UK is Interpublic's fourth largest market with 7.6% behind continental Europe (15.3%), and Asia Pacific (9.5%).

Michael I. Roth, chairman and chief executive of Interpublic, said the 2009 results reflected "the impact the recession had on revenue, but also the strong focus on cost discipline brought to bear by our management teams across the organization".

Looking forward, Roth said: "Economic conditions appear to have stabilised, clients are beginning to re-focus on their brands, and the tone of the business is one of cautious optimism."

Picture: Larry Ford

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