IPG Ends Year on High Note

Net income grew by a third in Q4

Interpublic Group's net income grew by a third in the fourth quarter of last year, helping the company achieve significant income growth for all of 2011.

Net income for the year nearly doubled to more than $520 million, up from $271 million in 2010. A significant chunk of that growth, of course, stemmed from the company's sale of half its stake in Facebook during the third quarter. That deal resulted in a pre-tax gain of about $132 million. 

In the fourth quarter, net income totaled $259 million, up 33 percent from $195 million in the same period of '10. Revenue for the quarter grew 3 percent to $2.07 million, IPG said today.

For the year, revenue totaled $7.01 billion—up 8 percent from $6.50 billion in 2010.

In statement, IPG CEO Michael Roth attributed the results in part to "investments in digital talent and capabilities" and a "strong performance in emerging world markets." In Latin America, for example, revenue for Q4 and the full year grew by 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively. 

Roth also unveiled plans to repurchase $300 million in stock and set goals for 2012. By year's end, he expects IPG to achieve 3 percent organic growth and improve its operating margin by 50 basis points. At the end of last year, the margin stood at 9.8 percent.