Michael Roth
Michael Roth

Interpublic today reported a 13.3 percent rise in Q4 net revenues and an 8.5 percent jump in operating income to $459.1M.

Organic growth surged 7.1 percent, split between a 6.3 percent rise in the US and 8.0 percent overseas.

CEO Michael Roth called 2018 a “very successful year, with outstanding financial results, coupled with a significant, future-facing acquisition.”

IPG in July announced the $2.3B acquisition of the data management unit of Acxiom, which contributed $181.7M in revenues during the 4Q and full-year.

Roth attributed IPG’s robust organic growth and margin improvement to the ability to attract diverse talent with digital expertise. “That is what’s required in light of the significant changes taking place in our industry and the environment in which we operate,” he said.

IPG’s constituency management group, which includes PR units Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries Global, Current, Rogers & Cowan, Carmichael Lynch Relate and pmk*bnc, posted a 5.0 percent jump in 4Q revenues to $337.1M.

Full-year revenues advanced 4.7 percent to $1.3B.

Andy Polansky, CEO of Weber Shandwick, told O'Dwyer's that the firm enjoyed "double-digit" growth during the quarter on a reported and organic basis. It chalked up mid-single digit growth (reported and organic) for all of 2018.

The firm was powered by solid results in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and India and increased client spending in the healthcare, technology and data analytics categories.

Polansky also singled out Golin (corporate), Current (consumer/lifestyle) and R&C (talent representation) as stand-out performers.

Roth is targeting 2019 organic growth in the two-to-three percent range. IPG will take a pre-tax earnings charge from $30M to $40M during the first-quarter “to right-size its cost structure” following accounts lost in the latter part of 2018.