NEW YORK: Interpublic Group’s PR revenues rose by eight percent in the first quarter of 2011, with CEO Michael Roth singling out strong performances from Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris.

The two PR agencies are housed within IPG’s CMG division, which grew by 7.8 percent in the first three months of this year.

The increases are calculated on an organic basis and thus exclude the loss of earnings from MWW Group, which bought back its independence from IPG earlier this year.

CMG CEO Harris Diamond told the Holmes Report that consumer growth was “very strong”, supported by technology and healthcare.

In geographic terms, added Diamond, the US was “terrific” while Asia also performed creditably. Diamond also noted a “really good return in Europe”, bucking the difficult economic circumstances in the Eurozone. In particular, Diamond said that the UK, Italy, France and Germany all grew.

Overall, IPG revenues were up 9.3 percent on an organic basis, to $1.47 billion. However, the group reported a net loss of $48.1 million during the period, down from $71.5 million in the same quarter last year.

“Having seen the strength last year and the strength in the first quarter, I do think it’s a strong time for marketing services companies,” said Diamond.