NEW YORK — Omnicom Group, which owns numerous PR firms including FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, has reported that its PR revenues grew 0.7% on an organic basis during the first quarter of 2018.

The group recorded PR revenues of $346.3m for the period in question, representing reported growth of 3.3%. It follows in PR revenue growth of 0.1% on an organic basis during Q4 of 2017, which itself came after two consecutive quarters of decline.

On an organic basis, PR lagged all of the group's other units. Overall, the group grew global revenue by 1.6% on an organic basis for the quarter, and 3% for the year.

On an earnings call, Omnicom CEO John Wren said that PR, along with other units, "performed well in the UK" and also recorded "positive performance" in North America. 

Wren also said that WPP assets such as "Kantor and the other names that are being bantered about" are not a "key focus for our acquisition." There has been considerable speculation about a break-up of WPP since the exit of CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.

Despite returning to growth in 2016, Omnicom's PR firms — which includeFleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter-Novelli — has struggled to record sustained growth in recent years, helping to usher in the appointment of Karen van Bergen as CEO of the newly-constituted Omnicom PR Group two years ago.