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8-K
INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. filed this Form 8-K on 07/26/2017
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Operator:
Thank you. Our next question is from Mr. John Janedis from Jefferies. Your line is open.
John Janedis, Jefferies:
Thank you. A couple for me, too. Michael, maybe we could start on your comment related to tech & telecom. Are you seeing any kind of impact from consolidation on that front? And on the tech side, are the larger players increasing share to the point that they’re impacting spend from the midsized competitors?
Michael Roth, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer:
Well, I don’t see us - the effect of the mergers really having an impact. I don’t think we’ve really seen that take place. Candidly, on tech & telecom, we’re still cycling through the loss of Sprint at Deutsch. We did have a pullback on some of our project-based clients in the tech & telecom space. We do see a line of sight that, with respect to those clients, we think we’ll see a recovery in the second half, as well as some of our other tech & telecom. That’s an important sector for us. We have a very good solid client base there, and that’s where I think we’ll see additional spending in the second half.
Mr. Janedis:
Okay. And then, separately, shifting back outside the U.S., it’s really unusual to see the non-U.S. markets in such a tight range around zero, and so I wanted to ask you: is that a function of your U.S. multinational clients? Or is there something broader to speak to, given the talk, at least in the U.S., that you spoke to around some of that politically driven uncertainty?
Mr. Roth:
I think there’s a pullback in China. I think everyone is seeing a pullback in China. In Latin America, Brazil affected us to a larger extent. As Frank said, we had really positive results in Mexico and Argentina, Chile and Other. So that basically netted out to being flat in Latin America. Previously, we’ve been up 15% in Latin America, so I think we’re seeing Brazil affect us more dramatically in those markets. And, again, in Continental Europe, as I said, we had some client losses that reflected that.
So no, I don’t see that. Look, the U.K, if you exclude pass-throughs, is up 3.2%, something around that. So we see a solid business in the U.K. We’re not counting on a big recovery in Continental Europe. India, we saw growth. Australia, we saw growth. So there are growth markets on the international side, and we’re adversely affected by some of our losses and some just general economic environments, but it’s not similar to - the U.S. isn’t similar to those markets.
Mr. Janedis:
Okay. And one quick one for Frank. Just given your comments, can you speak to the levers and the operating margin outlook for the back half of the year? On the outlook as well, do you expect to see a larger tailwind from net new business in the second half of the year versus the first half?
Frank Mergenthaler, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer:
John, I think that, as Michael pointed out, it’s critical for us to grow our existing book of business, especially around the top 20. So, growth is important. As the teams came through midyear reviews over the past couple of weeks, the message was, if revenue was a bit softer than expected, we would expect to see actions to defend the margin targets for the year, and we’re pleasantly surprised the number of agencies have already started to put those actions in place. And, mostly, it’s around headcount.

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