America’s public relations agencies grew by 8.2 percent last year, according to a survey released today by StevensGouldPincus, the merger and management consulting firm specializing in the PR field.

The results of this survey were slightly better than the results of the annual Best Practices Benchmarking report released the end of May, showing that Operating Profit increased from 18.2 percent to 18.8 percent and the billing/utilization report issued in mid-June which showed that billing rates did not increase during 2012.

The results also broadly confirm the findings of The Holmes Report 250, a global survey of public relations firm financial performance.

Based on stats from 218 PR agencies coast to coast and in Canada the firms between $10 million and $25 million had the largest growth in net revenues at 13.1 percent. The under $3 million group had a growth rate of just 5.0 percent.

The second part of the study focused on industry growth in 10 regions and average net revenues for each of the regions, and found faster growth rates in the heartland than in some of the major metropolitan areas.

The top performing regions were the the Southwest (17.4 percent), the Southeast (16.6 percent) and northern California (14.4 percent), while firms found growth difficult in the Washington, DC, area (1.1 percent) and New York (5.5 percent) as well as the Northwest (2.4 percent). Canada also enjoyed healthy growth (15.3 percnet).