Ad companies report strong gains

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Double-digit jumps in profits remain the order of the day as advertising companies continue reporting second-quarter results: Interpublic Group of Cos., New York, saw net income rise 17.6% to $139.4 million in the quarter. Gross income was up nearly 10% from a year ago to $1.1 billion; gross income for U.S. operations rose by 13.4%, and international by 6.4%. Interpublic said it gained about $526 million in net new billings during the quarter. First-half results: net income up 17.9% to $184.2 million, gross income up 10.5% to $2.1 billion.

Outdoor Systems, Phoenix, reported a 57.9% increase in net income for the quarter to $19.1 million. Net revenue was up 16.3% to $202.1 million. Those results came despite the halt in outdoor tobacco advertising at the end of April. Last year, tobacco ads made up 4.7% of Outdoor Systems' net revenue. The company, preparing to merge with CBS Corp.'s Infinity Broadcasting Corp. (including the TDI outdoor ad unit), said it has been preparing for the loss of tobacco dollars for several years. First-half results: net income up 61.5% to $23.9 million, net revenue up 16.8% to $374.3 million.

Harte-Hanks, San Antonio, reported second-quarter net income increased 10.3% to $18.8 million. Operating revenue was up 5.5% to $197 million for the direct marketing company. Among second-quarter highlights, Harte-Hanks acquired Direct Marketing Associates, Baltimore, and LYNQS Newmedia, Kansas City, Mo. First-half results: net income up 9.6% to $34.1 million, operating revenue up 5.7% to $385.2 million.

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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