Interpublic is continuing to struggle along a rocky road to recovery as it reported a loss last week of $71.5 million for the quarter to 31 March, almost unchanged from the result reported for the same period last year despite incurring much reduced severance costs in the latest period. That reduction alone saved $31million.
Interpublic also benefited from favourable currency movements without which its revenues would have fallen by 3%. Instead revenues grew by a modest 1.2% although that was a better performance than was achieved by WPP Group in the same period.
Revenues at WPP fell by 1.8%, but the group tried to put a better gloss on the decline by telling the world the revenues would have risen by 6.6% if its operations were headquartered in the US and reported in US dollars. But that of course is a red herring as shareholders cannot benefit from hypothetical revenues and profits. Maybe Sir Martin Sorrell is not content with shifting his corporate roots to Ireland to save tax and will now be exploring how he could move the company to the US to enable him to report bigger profits â€“ assuming currency movements continue to favour US businesses.
To WPPâ€™s credit it is now indisputably the biggest revenue earner in the sector â€“ leading Omnicom Group by about 10%.
Meanwhile both Havas and Publicis Groupe are keeping very quiet about what their revenues would have been without the benefit or otherwise of currency movements.
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