Omnicom posts 2.9 per cent organic revenue growth in Q1

Omnicom has reported the strongest organic revenue growth of the major holding groups in the first three months of 2013, while Havas was the only one whose revenue declined.

GlaxoSmithKline: contributed to Omnicom’s strong Q1 results
GlaxoSmithKline: contributed to Omnicom’s strong Q1 results

According to company results for the first quarter, the owner of the BBDO and OMD networks reported the healthiest organic growth at 2.9 per cent year on year, followed by Interpublic at 2.3 per cent and WPP at 2.1 per cent.

Ian Whittaker, the head of media research at Liberum Capital, said Omnicom’s solid performance owed more to its "quite low" exposure to continental Europe and the fact that the US is performing well than any wider strategic gains.

By sector, Omnicom’s revenue growth from consumer product brands, such as Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline, perform-ed most strongly, up 12.2 per cent, followed by technology brands such as Apple, up 7.3 per cent.

Holding companies’ revenue growth Q1 2013

Group Revenue (£bn) Growth (%) Organic growth (%)
Omnicom 2.22 2.8 2.9
Interpublic 1.01 2.4 2.3
WPP 2.53 5.9 2.1
Publicis Groupe 1.30 7.6 1.3
Havas 0.33 -0.3 -0.9

Despite posting only the fourth-strongest organic revenue growth at 1.3 per cent, Publicis Groupe’s overall revenue growth was the highest among the big ad groups, at 7.6 per cent year on year, buoyed by acquisitions.

WPP’s revenue growth was 5.9 per cent, Omnicom’s was 2.8 per cent and Interpublic’s was 2.4 per cent.

Havas, meanwhile, reported a revenue decline of 0.3 per cent year on year to €386 million (£325.4 million) after gains in the UK were not sufficient to mitigate falls elsewhere. On an organic basis, Havas’ revenue decreased by 0.9 per cent.

Whittaker attributed Havas’ weaker performance to the large proportion of its business in mainland Europe and its smaller footprint in the US.

Despite Omnicom performing the strongest on an organic basis, and Publicis Groupe in terms of overall revenue growth, Whittaker said that, "from a margin perspective", WPP was the best-performing group.