The financial fortunes of The Interpublic Group of Companies have taken another knock as the net assets of the group declined by $159 million in the nine months to 30 September and the ratio of borrowings to shareholders’ funds (“gearing”) climbed to 0.94:1. The deteriorating position would have been worse if the group had not sold the research company NFO WorldGroup to Taylor Nelson Sofres in July. This helped improve the gearing ratio by comparison with the same time last year when it stood at 1.05:1. But continuing write-offs and restructuring costs have cancelled out virtually all the benefit of such assets sales.
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