NEW YORK — Interpublic’s PR group Wednesday reported flat year-over-year growth in Q1, putting an end to three consecutive quarters of pandemic-fueled decline.

Andy Polansky, the former Weber Shandwick global CEO who was named chairman and CEO of the division in 2019, said the group’s Q1 revenue was flat on an organic basis, but rose in the low single digits on an as-reported basis. 

The PR and marketing group, which was rebranded IPG Dxtra in October, includes PR firms Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, Rogers & Cowan PMK and Current Global.

Polansky noted that Wednesday’s Q1 earnings report showed “a sharp sequential improvement” from the fourth quarter of 2020, during which the group saw revenue drop in the mid-single digits.  The last time the group saw an uptick in revenue was Q1 2020 — the last quarter that wasn’t completely wrought by Covid-19 — when it reported modest growth.

While there are still uncertainties around the pandemic, business is starting to pick up for agencies across Dxtra, including the events and sports and entertainment firms significantly impacted by the pandemic, Polansky said. “We are cautiously optimistic for the remainder of 2021," he said.

Weber Shandwick’s ReviveHealth, United Minds and Resolute Digital had particularly strong first quarters, as did Golin and Current Global.

North America and Latin America were the quarter’s best-performing regions.

Polansky also noted the group maintained strong client relationships, retaining 96% of its top 100 clients during the last year.  “Our relationships continue to get stronger and deeper as we deliver integrated solutions that tap into the specialized capabilities that we have at our agencies,” he said.