Holding Companies Report Solid Q3 Numbers, Cautious About Future

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While you were busy at work – or preparing your Halloween costumes – late last week, the PR/advertising holding companies reported their Q3 numbers. Here is a brief recap:

Publicis reported $1.39 billion in Q3 revenue, up 5.1% compared with Q3 2007. Publicis does not separate PR revenues.

WPP Group, home to agencies Burston-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton, among others reported Q3 revenue of $347.7m from its Public Relations & Public Affairs, up 9.3% from Q3 2007. PR was the second highest growth area for WPP, behind only Advertising & Media Investment Management.

Interpublic Group’s PR division, including agencies Weber Shandwick, GolinHarris and MWW Group was also up “nearly $290 million for the third quarter, an organic increase of 18.3% from the same period last year,” according to PRWeek.

Omnicom Group, which includes agencies Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum, and Porter Novelli International reported a six percent increase in third-quarter profit, beating the street’s estimate, however shares fell seven percent on the news in reaction to comments on the economic crisis.

“I think it’s fair to say that the PR business has had a terrific nine months and a terrific third quarter. Having said that, you have the caveat that we are walking into uncertain times,” Harris Diamond, CEO IPG’s Constituency Management Group (CMG) division (which contains the holding company’s PR agencies), told PRWeek‘s Tonya Garcia.