Both Publicis and Interpublic announced particularly encouraging results for the second quarter today, although Interpublic still has a long way to go to achieve anything like the 15% operating profit margin normally targeted in the industry.
Publicis reported revenue growth of 14.9%, or 12.5%% before including the added benefit of currency translation gains. About 7% of the growth came from recent acquisitions. Its operating profit margin on revenue was 13.9% – up from 11.6% for the equivalent period last year. The post-tax profit for the half year was â‚¬213 million, compared with â‚¬167 million in the first half of 2009.
Interpublicâ€™s revenues grew by 9.7% in the latest quarter, contributing to a more modest improvement over the full half year. The half yearâ€™s operating profit was $117.8 million – much improved from the $15 million achieved in the corresponding period last year. The operating profit margin for the half year was 4%, but this had improved to 11% in the second quarter.
Finance costs absorbed almost half of Interpublicâ€™s operating profit in the half year. Its profit after interest, tax and other non-operating charges was a modest $33.8 million after making good a $71.5 million loss in the first quarter.
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