/ omnicom group
New York-based Omnicom Group was the strongest performing holding company in 2017, with organic growth of 3.0% on revenue of $15.3bn. Despite this, Omnicom missed analyst expectations for Q4, and their share price fell 5.8% following the announcement, and has continued to fall, currently trading close to 10% lower than prior to the announcement.
Regionally, organic revenue growth was very strong in the UK (5.1%), Europe (9.4%), Latin America (16.8%), and the Middle East and Africa (12.8%). However, North America, which accounts for 57% of Omnicom’s revenues only saw organic growth of 0.6% for the year, and hence held the business back. This was significantly below analyst forecasts, and was due to a reduction in client spending, and lower political spend in PR related to the 2016 elections. All five of Omnicom’s disciplines saw positive organic growth, with CRM Execution & Support (4.0%), and Advertising (3.9%) being the best performing by far. PR, the worst performing sector, rose by 0.3%.
Interpublic Group’s Q4 earnings were met with the greatest amount of enthusiasm from the market. While full year organic revenue was only modestly up 1.8% over the previous year, there was very strong momentum coming from Q4 organic growth of 3.3% over the prior-year period. These results delivered on IPG’s updated targets, and performed well above analyst expectations. Following the announcement, the company’s share price increased by more than 10%. Mediabrands, McCann Worldgroup, and FCB were cited by the company as driving overall growth.
Looking at individual regions, IPG performed particularly well relative to the other agencies in organic growth terms in the US (2.0% over the year and 3.47% in Q4) and Continental Europe (3.4%). As with the other networks, UK growth was solid at 4.1% over the year. Asia Pacific was the worst performing region with a negative organic growth of 2.5%.
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