Omnicom Lifts Quarterly Profit 5.4% to $175 Million

Establishes Goal of Returning Margins to 2007 Levels

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Driven by its strongest period of organic growth this year, Omnicom Group today reported a 5.4% growth in third-quarter profit to $174.6 million, up from $165.6 million for the same period last year.

John Wren
John Wren
Globally, organic growth grew 6.7% while worldwide revenue increased 5.5% to $3 billion. Despite losing Chrysler's advertising business, Omnicom, domestically, saw revenue increase 8.4% to $1.6 billion. The loss of Chrysler reduced global organic growth for the quarter by 1.5%, executives said. Speaking to analysts on a conference call this morning, Omnicom CEO John Wren also attributed growth in the U.S. market -- which he said he was pleasantly surprised by -- to the holding company's third-quarter growth.

"Every U.S. client I speak with seems to have a renewed focus on top-line growth," said Mr. Wren. "But we are going to continue to remain cautious, wait for their budgets, make sure we understand the implications of the upcoming elections and hope the unemployment picture in the U.S. starts to improve."

Omnicom, home to ad shops BBDO Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide, media shop OMD and PR agencies Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum, saw a bump in all of its businesses and nearly every marketer category except travel and entertainment.

"In addition to having positive growth across nearly every industry we serve, we also had positive growth across all of our disciplines," said Randall Weisenburger, chief financial officer at Omnicom. "Even our recruitment marketing business had positive organic growth within the quarter, which alone may be a sign of improving economic conditions.

Mr. Wren said the holding company was also seeing an improving picture outside of the U.S. with double-digit top-line growth in Asia and the Middle East. While he was pleased with the results for the quarter in the U.K., France and even Germany, results from other countries in Europe still represent a mixed picture, he added.

"As we look forward to 2011 and 2012 we have identified a number of actions that will allow us to improve our margins toward our goal of returning to 2007 levels," Mr. Wren said. "Additionally, we expect to increase our acquisition activity in emerging markets, form additional alliances with new partners and divest several slow growth low margin businesses."