NEW YORK--Omnicom Group, which owns PR firms Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, has reported a welcome lift in its PR revenues, growing the business by 4.4 percent during the first quarter of 2012. 

The result comes after Omnicom revealed that PR income had grown by just two percent in 2011, on an organic basis, and 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

The first quarter increase took PR revenues for the quarter to $306.9m, accounting for nine percent of all earnings. The group spent $30.4m on acquisitions, which included the purchase of a majority stake in Fleishman-Hillard Vanguard in Russia.

More recently, Omnicom also acquired a majority stake in UK public affairs firm Portland.