IPG Sets Date for ’06 Results

NEW YORK Interpublic Group late next month will report its financial results for full-year 2006, including the fourth quarter of last year.

IPG said it would issue the results on Feb. 28, before the opening of the stock market. And that morning, at 8:30, IPG CEO Michael Roth and CFO Frank Mergenthaler will discuss the numbers with industry analysts during a conference call that’s expected to last about an hour.

For the third quarter of last year, the No. 3 holding company recorded a net loss of more than $6 million, down from a net loss of $108 million in the same period of 2005. For the first three quarters of 2006, IPG sustained a net loss of $131 million, down from $255 million in the like period of 2005.

Revenue in the third quarter was essentially flat, improving incrementally to $1.45 billion from $1.44 billion the year before. For the first nine months of last year, revenue fell nearly 2 percent to $4.31 billion.

Industry analysts were largely encouraged by IPG’s Q3 results, but remained cautious about the company’s financial future, given signs of softness in client spending and IPG’s seemingly aggressive goals for 2008 [Adweek, Nov. 13].

By the end of 2008, IPG has vowed to achieve peer-level revenue growth and boost its operating margin into double digits. The company’s margin at the end of Q3 was around -1.4 percent and its organic revenue for the quarter grew 2.7 percent. For the first nine months, organic growth stood at 1.2 percent.