NEW YORK — Omnicom Group, which owns numerous PR firms including FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli, has reported that its PR firms grew 1.5% on an organic basis during the fourth quarter of 2018.

That marks the fourth consecutive quarter of growth for the PR group. During Q3 2018 revenue grew 2.3%, but that was a slight dip from the 2.7% growth reported for the second quarter of the year. All of which, however, are ahead of the year's weak first quarter, when PR grew by just 0.7%.

On an organic basis, PR's year-over-year fourth quarter performance was lower than three of Omnicom's four other divisions. Advertising increased 4.4%, CRM consumer experience increased 4.2% and healthcare increased 7.6%. CRM execution & support decreased 3.7%.

During the full year 2018, PR grew 1.8% on an organic basis over 2017.

Overall, Omnicom's worldwide revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018 decreased to $4,086.7 million from $4,176.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The components of the change in revenue included a decrease in revenue from the negative foreign exchange rate impact of 2.0%, a decrease in acquisition revenue, net of disposition revenue of 2.4% and an increase in revenue from organic growth of 3.2% when compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

Despite returning to growth in 2016, Omnicom's PR firms — which include FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter-Novelli — have struggled to record sustained growth in recent years, helping to usher in the appointment of Karen van Bergen as CEO of the newly-constituted Omnicom PR Group more than two years ago.