GLOBAL--Interpublic Group has reported strong organic PR revenue growth of 9.6 percent for the second quarter of 2011, and 9.5 percent for the first half of this year, outperforming its peers among the listed marcomms groups.
The company, which owns PR agencies Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris and DeVries, said that an improved performance in Europe helped boost its earnings, despite the economic fluctuations affecting several Eurozone markets.
Earlier this month, Publicis Groupe, which owns flagship PR network MSLGroup, reported that PR revenues had grown by five percent in the second quarter of 2011. At Omnicom Group, home to Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, PR income increased by just 1.3 percent on an organic basis for Q2, and 1.5 percent for the year-to-date.
Harris Diamond, CEO of Interpublic Group’s CMG division, said that organic growth from existing clients, and increasing business from digital and social media, played a key role in the strong performance of its PR agencies.
Diamond pointed to consumer, healthcare and technology as specific business drivers, and noted that North America and Asia continued to display resilient growth. However, he sounded a note of caution around current economic concerns in the US. “We’re not seeing the impact to date but obviously, like everybody, you do question whether it will affect people.”
Diamond also noted that public affairs was the one area where he would like to see better returns. “Given the dynamics in Brussels and US, it is a little more frozen,” he explained. “Some of that is the normal electoral process, but some of that is that the issues are at an internal government level, rather than a corporate to government level.”
WPP is due to report its results on 24 August.