Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group of Cos. reported earnings that supported industry optimism that Madison Avenue is finally bouncing back from the recession, even though both suffered from IBM Corp.'s $500 million account consolidation last summer.
New York-based Omnicom-parent to BBDO Worldwide, DDB Needham Worldwide and TBWA-posted a powerful 41% increase in net income, to $18.2 million, over a year ago. Worldwide revenues from commission and fee income increased 24% to $422.3 million-domestic was up 11% to $209.7 million and international up 41% to $212.6 million. Omnicom's Merkley Newman Harty and DDB Needham both lost IBM business. DDB Needham recouped by winning Digital Equipment Corp. in the third quarter.
Year-to-date: net income up 29% to $70.6 million; revenue up 15% to $1.2 billion.
"Omnicom had a huge international revenue gain in the third quarter," said James Dougherty, an analyst with Dean Witter Reynolds. "When you take out the effect of currency and acquisitions, the real gain was 21% but it was still a dramatic improvement over where they were in the first and second quarters. We also expect bigger gains in the fourth quarter ... It's been so long since we've seen double-digit revenue growth in the agency business that I think people will be surprised when you see the leverage they'll get next year."
Interpublic-parent to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Lowe & Partners/SMS and Lintas Worldwide-said net income rose 18% to $17.4 million; revenue was up 7.2% to $440.5 million. Lintas was an IBM agency, but Interpublic gained billings during the third quarter with the acquisition and merger of Ammirati & Puris with Lintas. Mr. Dougherty said: "Interpublic was in line with our expectations."
YTD: net income up 13% to $84.5 million; revenue up 6% to $1.4 billion.
Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich.: net income more than doubles to $1.1 billion from $463 million; revenue up 25% to $30.6 billion. Best third quarter ever for Ford, with improved performances in both automotive and financial operations. Strong performance by the new Ford Windstar minivan helped U.S. auto operations earn a third-quarter record $578 million, up 73.6%. YTD: net income up 106% to $3.7 billion; revenue up 18% to $94.8 billion.
Borden, Columbus, Ohio: $130.5 million loss after recording $181.2 million in charges that included fees paid in a buyout by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.; revenue up 4% to $1.4 billion. Borden agreed late last month to be acquired by Kohlberg in a stock swap for about $2 billion of the investment company's stake in RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. Fees and expenses from the buyout totaled $52.2 million. The company also incurred $104.5 million in charges associated with discontinued operations. YTD: $113.6 million loss, vs. net income of $18.3 million last year; revenue up slightly to $4.1 billion.
RJR Nabisco, New York: net income to $216 million from $74 million; revenue up 10% to $3.97 billion. Earnings comeback in U.S. tobacco and continued strong growth in food sales. YTD: net income up 45% to $457 million; revenue up 2% to $11.3 billion.
Tambrands, White Plains, N.Y.: net income up 5% to $25 million; revenue up 9% to $175.3 million. Record third quarter, driven by gains in international volume. YTD: net income to $67 million, vs. earnings before the cumulative effect of an accounting change of $52.6 million a year ago; revenue up 3% to $480.1 million.
UAL Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.: net income down 45% to $82 million; revenue up 5.1% to $3.8 billion. Net income would have risen 19.5% to $178 million if it were not for $96 million in one-time, after-tax costs associated with the completion of the recent employee acquisition of United Airlines. YTD: Net income to $40 million from $15 million; revenue up 5.3% to $10.5 billion.
Quaker Oats Co., Chicago: net income down 37% to $91.4 million; revenue up 7% to $1.64 billion. Quaker partly blamed an accounting change. Gatorade was only able to register summer sales volume even with 1993. In Quaker's first-quarter report, unit volumes were up for other businesses including ready-to-eat cereals, rice cakes, granola bars and Golden Grain unit.
Anheuser-Busch Cos., St. Louis: net income up 5.3% to $600 million; revenue up 4.5% to $3.3 billion. Budweiser beers, including new Ice Draft From Budweiser, grew 3.5% during the quarter. As expected (AA, May 16), Bud Light became the largest selling light beer and the No. 2 beer brand in the U.S., A-B said.