Diana Marszalek 08 Feb 2024 // 2:49PM GMT
NEW YORK — IPG on Thursday reported that its PR and experiential agency group grew 2.9% on an organic basis in Q4 2023 and 4.1% during the full year.
IPG credited the quarterly lift to growth across its experiential and PR agencies, which include Weber Shandwick, Golin, Current Global and R&CPMK.
The Weber Shandwick Collective saw “strong mid-single-digit growth globally” driven by its healthcare business including an AOR appointment from Walgreens and expansion of its work with Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Golin had “exceptionally strong growth” including the addition of Fidelity Investments to its portfolio, IPG said. R&CPMK continued its work in the entertainment industry, securing new talent and brand clients like Whoop, Moonbug Entertainment and Real Mesa.
The PR group has had more than two years of quarterly growth since the Covid pandemic. The group grew by 6.5% in Q3.
IPG as a whole saw net revenue rise 1.7% on an organic basis to $2.6 billion during Q4. However, the holding company was essentially flat for the year 2023, when net revenue dipped by 0.1% to $9.4 billion.
“We are pleased to report growth in the fourth quarter ahead of expectations, during our seasonally largest quarter and across each of our segments. The strength of our capabilities in media, healthcare and specialty marketing services was once again evident, as was the impact of macro uncertainty and challenges due to clients in the technology sector. These cross- currents continue to be in effect as we move into 2024,” said IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky.
“Looking ahead, we remain confident in the foundational strengths of our company. We anticipate that the strongest and most consistent growth areas of our business will perform well in the year ahead. We will continue to make strategic investments, including the ongoing development of our leading addressable capabilities, such as our data-powered tools, retail and performance media, and the expansion of our media buying models. Our current and prospective investment in AI ensures that this increasingly important technology extends to the full range of our offerings. Along with other strategic actions, this will allow us to continue to evolve our portfolio and asset mix.,” he said.
“We expect organic net revenue growth for 2024 in a range of 1% to 2%, and full-year adjusted EBITA margin of 16.6%, which consolidates significant margin progress in recent years and will allow us to continue to invest in key growth areas of the business. Our strong balance sheet and commitment to financial flexibility remain key priorities and the actions announced by our Board today, to increase our dividend and authorize additional share repurchase, speak to confidence in the strategic trajectory of our company.”
Thursday’s earnings report comes comes a year-plus since Andy Polansky retired in June 2022 after a 38-year career with Interpublic Group and Weber Shandwick. Polansky spent the last three years of his career as chair and CEO of IPG’s Dxtra group, overseeing the holding group's PR, event and sports marketing agencies. The group now reports to Krakowsky.