Omnicom Pauses To Digest, But Eyes New Targets

  • by October 28, 2003
The world's largest agency holding company acknowledged Tuesday that the pace of its acquisitions has slowed in recent months following the June purchase of

"There's an awful lot of opportunities out there to do acquisitions. We've just been very deliberate," said John Wren, president and chief executive officer of Omnicom. "The pace is really dictated by our strategy."

Wren said that Omnicom's strategy hadn't changed but it involved taking the time to find firms that would serve its largest 250 to 300 clients and add to the holding company's portfolio and figure in its future growth. Omnicom is the parent company of OMD Worldwide and PHD.

Earlier Tuesday, Omnicom announced that earnings rose double digits in the third quarter on the strength of higher advertising spending in the United States. Omnicom reported a 14.7 percent increase to $2.02 billion in third- quarter revenues. Advertising, which made up 41 percent of the revenues, grew 12.7 percent to $844 million in the third quarter. CRM, which was 35.4 percent of revenues, grew 19.8 percent to $717.7 million. Specialty communications and public relations, each about 11 percent of revenues, also grew in the quarter. More than half of Omnicom's revenues came from operations in the United States.



New activity continued strong, said Chief Financial Officer Randall J. Weisenburger, citing more than $1 billion in new business in the quarter and $3 billion so far this year.

Wren sounded positive about the advertising economy's prospects in the new year.

"I think that you're seeing a more bullish attitude," Wren said. Wren, like his counterpart at WPP Martin Sorrell, said that clients spent the last several years focused on costs.

"The companies that are going to be successful going forward are going to have to focus on their revenue," Wren said.

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