APAC shines as Omnicom revenue rises in first quarter but Wren warns of ‘unsettling’ developments

The Asia Pacific region has emerged as Omnicom’s second fastest growing region with organic growth of 9.1%, ahead of North America, Europe, the UK and Latin America, according to the holding group’s financial results for the first quarter of 2017.

But the head of Omnicom, John Wren, has warned of worrying political and economic developments around the globe.

Reporting its results for the first quarter of 2017, the parent company of agencies including TBWA, BBDO, DDB and Omnicom Media Group, saw an overall lift in operating profit of $US17.8m, up 4.5% to $US409.9 compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Net income at group level for Omnicom rose $US23.4m or 10.7% to $US241.8m with the Middle East and Africa achieving organic growth of 37.9%.

North America grew just 1.1%, the UK 8.1%, Europe 8.2% and Latin America 5.4%.

Organic growth in advertising services was up 6.4%, with growth in CRM up 2.1%, public relations 1.2% and specialty communications 3.3%.

Overall the Asia Pacific region reported real growth of 5.8%, accounting for 10.5% of total revenue, while the UK, still dealing with the fallout from the Brexit vote, reported negative growth of 8.2%.

Omnicom president John Wren, said the start to the year had been a good one, but there were challenges.

“Currency headwinds continue to be a drag on our top line and reduced revenue growth by 1.2%,” Wren told analysts.

“While our revenue growth exceeded our internals targets for the quarter, we remain cautious as numerous geo-political and macro-economic events remain unresolved.”

Wren said a number of issues in the US remained hard to determine as to how they might impact the economy as a result of the new Trump presidency.

“The US’s relationship with several key international trading partners is also being tested by the new administration,” he said.

He also said the outlook in Europe was hard to determine in light of both Brexit and upcoming elections.

“In Asia and the Middle East the situation is increasingly unsettling and the crisis in Syria continues to destabilise both the Middle East and Europe. In the face of these macro events Omnicom’s agencies remain focused on the things they can control – developing their talent, delivering results for their clients and driving improvement in their financial results.”


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