Publicis revenue growth rebounds to 3.3% in Q1

Publicis Groupe reported on Thursday morning a 3.3% organic revenue increase in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the prior year, to $2.2 billion. North American revenue growth outpaced the global rate at 4.3%.

PARIS: Publicis Groupe reported on Thursday morning a 3.3% organic revenue increase in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the prior year, to $2.2 billion.

Growth in digital work was credited for the turnaround. Digital accounted for nearly 41% of revenue in the period, the holding company said.

North American revenue growth outpaced the global rate at 4.3% in Q1, year-over-year, reaching about $1.1 billion.

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy said in an earnings statement that after a fourth quarter that missed the holding company’s expectations with flat growth, it was "back to more satisfactory organic growth" in Q1. He added that the umbrella group still expects to record 4%-plus revenue growth for the full year, though high comparables could drag those numbers down in the second quarter.

"The good news in Q1 2014 is Europe, where long-awaited growth was registered, though it does remain fragile," he said in the earnings statement. "Germany is buoyant, but the most interesting news comes from Italy and Spain, which have both recorded positive quarterly growth for the first time since 2011. France is also beginning to show encouraging signs."

On his company’s pending merger with Omnicom Group, Levy told Bloomberg TV, "We don’t see anything that could come in the way of an agreement," noting that Chinese authorities should approve the deal in the third quarter.

His statement countered that of rival holding company chief Martin Sorrell of WPP, who predicted on Wednesday that the Publicis-Omnicom combination could drift into 2015.

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