IPG reports £20m fourth-quarter loss

Interpublic's ongoing problems were underlined this week as the group posted a fourth-quarter loss of £20 million and restated earnings for the first three quarters of 2005.

The figures follow last year's client defections from IPG, whose agency networks include McCann Erickson, FCB and Lowe Worldwide.

IPG, the third- largest communications company in the world, reported a fourth-quarter operating income of £34.4 million, compared with £186.6 million in 2004.

A full-year operating loss of £62.3 million was in contrast with a loss of £56.5 million in 2004.

The negative impact of restated earnings last year was £1.5 million for the first quarter, £3.17 million for the second quarter and £3.7 million for the third quarter.

IPG awaits the results of a Securities & Exchange Commission probe into an accountancy scandal.

Michael Roth, IPG's chairman, blamed the costs of fixing weak financial systems, resolving accounting issues and attracting talent.