Organic revenue down by 5.4% at IPG

Despite stumbling compared to the previous quarter, the company anticipates positive growth before the year is out.
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While the U.S. continued to be a strong performer for IPG, the challenges of the pandemic have continued to hit the holding company’s financial results, though it anticipates the ability to report positive growth again at some point this year.

For the three months ending on Dec. 31, IPG’s organic revenue dropped by 5.4% year-over-year.

That’s slightly behind its Q3 results, when it reported a 3.7% dip in organic revenue, which was better than expected and outpaced the other major holding companies. For the full year, organic net revenue at IPG decreased by 4.8%.

By comparison, Publicis Groupe reported a 3.9% dip in organic revenue for the quarter ending on Dec. 31, with a decline of 6.3% for the full year.

Philippe Krakowsky, who took over as CEO of IPG from Michael Roth at the start of 2021, said the results continue to reflect the pandemic, but described them as “solid” considering the challenges and reinforced the company’s plans to continue investing in the business to accelerate growth in the areas it sees the most opportunity.

“That investment continues to result in differentiated capabilities and forward-looking offerings, which are in demand and driving success in the marketplace,” he said.

The U.S., the company’s biggest market, continued to out-perform other regions, with organic revenue down by only 1.8% in Q4 and 2.9% for the full year. However, in IPG’s “All Other Markets” segment ? its second-smallest, which includes Canada, Africa and the Middle East  ? organic revenue was down by 14% in Q4 and 8.5% for the whole year.

Organic growth also continued to straggle in Asia-Pacific, Continental Europe and the U.K., IPG’s next three biggest markets. In Latin America, organic growth topped 2%, bringing the full-year growth to 0.4%.

While outlook for 2021 remains unpredictable, Krakowsky said IPG expects to return to positive organic growth at the some point before December, largely due to expectations for the industry as a whole and IPG’s own track record of “outperformance” compared to its competition.