Double-Digit Quarterly Gains for Omnicom


NEW YORK An increase in ad spending from the summer Olympics pushed Omnicom Group's third-quarter worldwide revenue up 14 percent to $2.3 billion from just over $2 billion for the same period a year ago, the company said.

Omnicom also reported a 17 percent jump in net income for the quarter to $145.3 million from $124.6 million for the same period last year.

"We were very pleased with the company's performance in the third quarter," Omnciom CEO John Wren told analysts. However, Wren and CFO Randy Weisenberger declined to give guidance for the fourth quarter, saying that the uncertainty surrounding next week's presidential election made them unable to provide clarity for the next quarter.

"This election is so close, nobody knows what's going on," Wren said. He added that discretionary projects from clients are typically activated during the fourth quarter because of the holidays, but added, "We won't have the certainty with whether those projects are going to continue or not."

Omnicom pegged its organic growth at about 8.4 percent. The only geographical weaknesses were in the U.K. and France, where earnings were flat, a trend that is expected to continue in the fourth quarter, the company said. The results reflect not only a new system of accounting for staff stock compensation, but also an adjustment in agency operating models, Weisenberger said.

The company's diluted earnings per share in the third quarter increased 20 percent to 79 cents per share from 66 cents per share in the third quarter a year ago.

The company reported a 14 percent increase in third-quarter domestic revenue to $1.2 billion compared to $1.1 billion in 2003. International revenue rose 15 percent to just over $1 billion compared to $917.5 million last year.

For the first nine months, Omnicom's net income rose 16 percent to $487 million. Diluted earnings per share increased 16 percent to $2.60.

Global revenue for the first nine months was up 14 percent to nearly $7 billion from $6 billion in 2003. Domestic revenue for that period increased 12 percent to $3.7 billion; international revenue jumped 17 percent to $3 billion.