UPDATE 1-Interpublic profit misses forecasts as costs, taxes rise
* Says to focus on costs for rest of the year
* 2nd-qtr earnings per share $0.18 vs $0.22
* U.S. revenue up 4.8 pct, overall revenue up 2.4 pct
* Aiming for margin improvement of 50 basis points this year
July 19 (Reuters) - Interpublic Group of Cos, home to advertising agencies McCann Erickson and Draftfcb, said it would focus on controlling costs after reporting a lower-than-expected second-quarter profit.
The No.2 U.S. advertising company's profit fell 19 percent mainly due to higher costs and a bigger tax bill but domestic revenue rose for the second straight quarter.
The rebounding U.S. ad market helped larger rivals Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe report better-than-expected earnings this week.
Interpublic's revenue from the United States rose 4.8 percent, double its overall revenue growth. The United States accounted for about 57 percent of revenue in the quarter.
But operating expenses rose 2.7 percent, led by a 2.9 percent rise in salaries and related expenses.
Provision for income taxes rose by $12 million to $62 million, as the company's effective tax rate rose to 41.9 percent from 32.3 percent.
"Our primary focus for the balance of the year will be on controlling costs and delivering a high level of revenue conversion," Chief Executive Michael Roth said in a statement.
Interpublic said it still aimed for a margin improvement of 50 basis points for the full year. The company's operating margin fell to 10.0 percent in the latest quarter from 10.3 percent a year earlier.
Net income available to shareholders fell to $79.9 million, or 18 cents per share, from $99 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.76 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 22 cents per share on revenue of $1.75 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Interpublic won accounts for e-commerce giant Amazon and General Motors' Cadillac brand in the quarter.
GM shifted global advertising for its Chevrolet brand to Interpublic's McCann Worldgroup in the first quarter from an Omnicom-Interpublic joint venture formed last year.
Interpublic shares were untraded before the bell after closing at $15.79 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.