Profit & Loss: Cautious optimism reigns despite earnings pressures

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More companies took a cautiously optimistic view of 2002 while reporting year-end figures for 2001.

Interpublic Group of Cos. posted a drop of 1.6% in fourth-quarter net income to $111.2 million and a 15.8% drop in revenue to $1.72 billion, including a 10.1% drop in organic growth. Full-year revenue dropped 6.3% to $6.73 billion, including a 2.9% organic drop. Factoring in $949 million in restructuring and accounting charges, Interpublic showed a $505.5 million net loss for the year, vs. net income of $420.3 million in 2000.

Interpublic brought in $5.55 billion in new business in 2001 and lost $2.76 billion, leading to a net new business total of $2.79 billion. Chairman-CEO John J. Dooner Jr. estimated one-fourth of the losses were due to client conflicts related to June's True North Communications acquisition. Mr. Dooner said comparisons in the first half of 2002 will be tough, but he was encouraged by the "vitality" in account reviews seen this quarter.

Clear Channel Communications reported widening fourth-quarter losses while taking a pre-tax charge of $15 billion to $25 billion to reflect new accounting for acquisitions. It expects its radio division to rebound with a strong first quarter.

Clear Channel reported fourth-quarter net losses of $365.6 million, up from $192 million in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue fell 8% to $1.86 billion. Clear Channel reported a full-year net loss of $1.14 billion, compared with reported net income of $248.8 million in 2000. Revenue for 2001 rose 49% to $7.97 billion.

Revlon managed to trim its losses, although sales remained relatively flat for the year. It posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $28.3 million vs. a net loss of $51.3 million in 2000. Net sales for the quarter were up 10.7% to $332.5 million, but full-year sales were $1.31 billion, up from $1.30 billion in 2000. Full-year losses grew to $153.7 million from $129.7 million in 2000.

contributing: cara b. dipasquale

Fast Facts

The following companies report earnings this week:

March 5: Vivendi Universal, Kohl's Corp.

March 6: Havas Advertising

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