Omnicom CFO Predicts Modest 2013 Rev Growth

Randall-Weisenburger-BOmnicom Group CFO Randy Weisenburger told an investor group Monday that he expects the agency holding company’s organic revenue growth will be lower in 2013 than in 2012, given continued economic uncertainties in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Looking ahead, he said, “we see tough conditions in the U.S., Europe and the UK,” while growth markets in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa will continue to perform well, Weisenburger told investors and analysts attending the 2013 Citi Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.

Congress passed legislation dealing with the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Weisenburger said. “We may have averted a crisis, but I’m not sure we fixed anything.” The economies that were in turmoil remain so, he noted, while questions remain about U.S. debt levels and how they will be addressed in the future.

Weisenburger said the company believes it can achieve organic growth in 2013 of between 2% and 3%, with higher growth in the second half of the year. By comparison -- and although the final numbers are still being tabulated -- the company’s 2012 organic growth is expected to rise between 3.5% and 4%, with fourth-quarter growth in the 1.5% to 2.5% percent range.

Media planning and buying accounts for about 12% of company revenues currently, and Weisenburger said the company expects to realize “strong growth” in that sector for the foreseeable future.

Asked what percentage of the company’s business was digital, Weisenburger replied that “we don’t look it at that way” because it’s “the wrong approach.”

“New technologies are tools” that enable agencies to serve clients appropriately, he said. “It’s not about this is digital and this is non-digital,” he said, adding that everything the company does is marketing services related to “whatever the medium is. Is a TV spot on Hulu digital or not?” He did estimate that social media was about 1% of the company’s revenue now.

Technology is impacting every industry, he said. For those in the marketing services sector, the key is to utilize technology to better develop consumer and brand-related insights, improve messaging, manage data and execute plans and campaigns more effectively.

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