TN's Mason speaks on plans

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True North Communications remains committed to acquiring an additional agency network even as its acquisition of Wilkens International, Hamburg, Germany, and improved financial results are relieving the pressure to add mass to the company. At its annual meeting today, True North Chairman Bruce Mason would not comment specifically about talks with Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt but said the company has made no secret of its desire to add another network and expand globally. Mr. Mason said, however, the need to expand is strategic and not driven by poor financial results.

True North's Foote, Cone & Belding "is a good, strong complete global network" and very profitable, he said. Its financial results have improved considerably in the second half of 1996 and continue to show gains so far in 1997, he added. Mr. Mason said 1997 has started out as the company's best year for new business. First-quarter revenue was up 23%, showing gains in all regions worldwide, and operating margins went to $1.6 million, up from a loss of $2.8 million during the same period in 1996.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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