Holding Companies Take 2020 Guidance Off The Table

IPG and Publicis are the latest holding companies to withdraw their guidance on financial performance for 2020 given the unpredictable impact of the pandemic.

Earlier in the week Omnicom also indicated that for now it was unable to predict with any certainty what impact the health crisis would have on results but that it would provide and update when it releases first quarter results.

IPG issued a statement saying that “in light of significant macroeconomic uncertainty resulting from the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, and the unknown magnitude and duration of its impact, it is appropriate to withdraw the company’s previously issued financial performance targets for full-year 2020.”

Earlier IPG said it was targeting full-year organic revenue growth of 3%.  In the company’s latest update CEO Michael Roth stated that its “balance sheet and liquidity are strong, and consistent with past practices we will look for opportunities to further enhance our financial condition.”



Publicis Groupe issued a statement: “As industry peers and other media companies have already communicated, it is difficult to accurately predict the evolution of advertising and marketing spend.” Earlier it said it was targeting organic growth of between -2% and +1%.

So far WPP has not revised its outlook for this year. But just a month ago the company said it expected 2020 to be a flat year, both for revenue and operating profits, although that guidance was offered with a caution that it could change given the impact of pandemic.


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