Omnicom’s Fourth Quarter Profit Rises 9 Percent

NEW YORK Omnicom Group reported a higher quarterly profit today, with higher revenues bolstered by the end of goodwill amortization.

Compared to Omnicom Group’s previously reported results for 2001, net income for the fourth quarter of 2002 increased 23 percent from $164.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 and diluted earnings per share increased 24 percent from $0.87 per share. Worldwide revenue increased 7.5 percent to $2.11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2002 from $1.97 billion in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Omnicom reported that net income for the fourth quarter of 2002 increased 9 percent to $201.5 million from $185.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2001. Diluted earnings per share increased 10 percent to $1.08 per share in 2002 from $0.98 per share in 2001.

Since the start of the year, in compliance with rules on “intangible assets” set down by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, Omnicom ceased recording goodwill amortization. The 2001 amounts were adjusted to assume that the cessation of goodwill amortization occurred on January 1,2001.

The results for the latest period benefited from new accounting rules for goodwill amortization. Goodwill is no longer written down routinely, but stays on a balance sheet until deemed impaired.

Shares of Omnicom closed 5.4 percent lower at $54 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.