Interpublic Group of Cos. today issued its first earnings report under new CEO Philippe Krakowsky, which showed fourth-quarter revenue fell 6.1% from 2019. Organic revenue declined 5.4%. The U.S. saw a 1.8% dip in organic net revenue, with a much steeper 10.5% falloff in international markets. For the full year, net revenue dropped 6.5% while organic net revenue decreased 4.8%.
Krakowsky attributed the revenue decline to the pandemic, but said “under challenging conditions, we reported a solid fourth quarter, especially in the U.S.,” adding that IPG’s full-year performance “should place us at the top of our sector.”
He added that “we fully expect to return to positive organic growth over the course of the year” and “to post full-year 2021 growth consistent with the industry, on top of IPG’s 2020 outperformance relative to our peer group.”
Hardest hit at IPG was its events business, which Krakowsky said “continued to bear the brunt of the health situation.” Bright spots were e-commerce, connected commerce, media planning and investment, health care and retail. IPG said it also expects expense reductions due to “a hybrid workplace environment, with a reduced need for real estate and an increased role for work from home in the delivery of our services.” The company said its headcount was reduced by 7.6% to 50,200 employees by the close of the quarter.