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Interpublic ends four-year loss-making stretch

NEW YORK - Interpublic Group has underlined its return to financial health with 2007 net profits of $131.3m (£66.1m) -- its first year out of the red since 2002.

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The turnaround, from a loss of $79.3m in 2006, was hailed by Michael Roth, chief executive and chairman of Interpublic since January 2005.

According to him, the performance and Interpublic's success in managing talent leave it "well-positioned to achieve organic growth and 8.5%-9% operating margin in 2008".

The company's 2007 revenues were up 5.9% on the previous year to $6.5bn, with organic revenue growth at 3.8%.

Roth added that though organic growth moderated in the fourth quarter Interpublic saw "no evidence of a pullback in 2008". This echoed the guidance given by WPP when it unveiled its 2007 results today.

In another milestone, the company has belatedly achieved compliance with the US Sarbanes-Oxley rules introduced in 2002 to tighten up corporate reporting in the wake of the Enron and Worldcom scandals.

Its accounting had been notoriously tangled following its breakneck expansion through acquisition in the 1990s.

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