Print Published 5th Jan 2011, 10:00

Global agencies suffer 5.2% revenue decline: two-thirds hit by falling profits

Agency revenues earned by the largest publicly listed marketing groups around the world fell by 5.2% in 2009 according to a survey of their most recently published accounts.

Two-thirds of the companies experienced a fall in post-tax profit or an increased loss.  And operating profit margins fell from 13.3% to 11.4% as employers failed to prune staff costs in line with declining revenues.

In the year when WPP Group overtook Omnicom Group as the world’s largest marketing group measured by revenues, it was roughly 100 times bigger than many UK listed companies like Creston, Cello Group and Media Square.

And while Japan’s Dentsu was only half the size of the US-based Interpublic Group and France’s Publicis Groupe, it was far more profitable – so much so that its post-tax profit was as big as that of Havas, Interpublic and Aegis Group put together.

These are some of the findings of a survey conducted by Marketing Services Financial Intelligence based on financial results reported last year by some of the largest publicly listed marketing groups in the world.  The full report is available to subscribers or for purchase (see below).