NEW YORK--Omnicom Group, which owns Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Porter-Novelli, has reported a 1.9 percent organic increase in PR revenues in 2011.

Including acquisitions, such as the purchase of leading US consumer firm Marina Maher Communications, PR income grew by six percent in 2011, compared to 2010. The group saw marginal organic PR growth of 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The results mean that, for the second successive year, growth at Omnicom's PR firms lagged its sister agencies in the advertising and CRM divisions. In 2010, Omnicom grew its PR revenues by 5.2 percent.

Over the full year, Omnicom’s PR revenues of $1.2bn accounted for 8.8 percent of overall group earnings. That proportion dipped slightly in Q4, to 8.1 percent.

In an earnings call with analysts, Omnicom CFO Randall Weisenberger revealed that the Marina Maher acquisition “wasn't done on an earnout basis.” Weisenberger also characterised Q4 PR performance as “marginally positive.”

Weisenberger also pointed to a decline in spending by pharma clients as one factor in the 5.1 percent Q4 decrease in its specialty communications division.