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Interpublic Loss Widens

Several charges batter the bottom line.

Advertising conglomerate

Interpublic Group

(IPG) - Get Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG) Report

saw its third-quarter loss swell despite a slight uptick in revenue as the company expensed some big charges for litigation and the writedown of an ill-timed acquisition.

The company lost $327 million, or 85 cents a share, on revenue of $1.42 billion in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of $89.6 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $1.39 billion last year. The latest quarter included a restructuring charge of $57 million, a litigation charge of $128 million and a writedown of $221 million related to its Octagon Worldwide acquisition.

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The litigation charges relate to a massive earnings restatement previously reported.

The revenue increase reflected currency translations, excluding which revenue declined by about 2.4%, year over year. Controlled for acquisitions, the decline was 1.7%.

Advertising and media revenue, which makes up about two-thirds of Interpublic's sales, rose 4.1% to $904.9 million, reflecting a 0.4% decline in U.S. revenue and a 10.1% increase in international markets. The company said "the benefit of foreign currency translation masked continuing softness in demand."

Looking ahead, the company said it expects its overall restructuring program -- the initiative that led to the $57.1 million third-quarter charge -- to cost about $250 million overall and be finished in the first half of next year.

Interpublic shares were recently up 26 cents, or 1.7%, to $15.65.