Publicis CEO, Maurice Levy, said organic growth would have topped 7% except for the continued softness of the healthcare sector. Net new business for the half totaled US$3 billion. Earnings were not separated to reflect results from the PR businesses. However, Mark Hass, global CEO of Manning Selvage & Lee, said via e-mail that "[PR] performance was consistent with the Groupe's in the first half and the second quarter."
Revenues for the second quarter were about $1.83 billion (€1.17 billion), compared to $1.86 billion (€1.19 billion) in the same period last year. Second quarter organic growth was 5.5%
"The first half of 2008 has lived up to its promise in terms of organic growth, new business and margins," Levy said in a statement. "In a somewhat depressed world economy, and against a backdrop of financial unease, we have every reason to believe that we can better resist by virtue of our strong positions in high-growth markets and sectors."
Results also showed 11.2% growth in emerging markets, generating 22.3% of total first half revenues. Growth in the US was 5.5%. Digital business increased for a total of 18.8% of revenues.
Recent initiatives include the acquisition of Kekst and Company and the creation and launch of VivaKi, which consolidates some of the Groupe's digital capabilities. New clients in the Publicis Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group (PRCC) include EBSCO in the US and AXA in The Netherlands.