Publicis Groupe posts upbeat first half-year results amid boom in digital

The world's third largest comms group Publicis Groupe has outperformed analysts' expectations with strong first half-year results.

Publicis Groupe CEO: Maurice Levy
Publicis Groupe CEO: Maurice Levy

The group posted first half organic revenue growth of 5.3% and a leap of over 28% in operating profit.

Overall the group recorded revenues of €2.54bn and operating profit of €369m.

Publicis is headquartered in Paris and owns MS&L Group, Resolute Communications and a major stake in Freud Communications.

The breakdown of consolidated revenue was 33% from advertising, 20% from media and 47% from specialised agencies and marketing services (including digital). The group said that advertising revenues in particular are recovering after being hit by the recession in 2009.

CEO Maurice Levy identified the group’s digital activities and expansion in emerging markets as the key reasons for its strong performance. Digital was worth 28.1% of first half revenues, up from 20.7% in the first half of 2009.

He said: ‘This  growth  is  the  result  of  a  strategy  that  has  been  effectively  executed  over  a  number  of  years.  We were  quick  to  take  the  digital  route,  gaining  a  decisive  lead  over  our  competitors  and  providing  clients  with  the  best  and  most  innovative  solutions  for  the  new  landscape  being  shaped  by  the  explosion  of  digital  technology.  We  also  opted  for  expansion  in  emerging  markets.’

There was growth in nearly all regions with the exceptions of Africa and the Middle East. European revenues grew organically by 3.3%, while growth for the USA was 7.2%, fuelled by healthcare and digital activities. India showed the largest growth in Asia Pacific and every country in Latin America reported growth with the exception of Chile.

In terms of outlook, the group said: ‘With many emerging economies, China in particular, returning to high growth, a recovering US economy (although flat since May), and certain European countries (including France and the UK) holding up well, Publicis Groupe confirms its target of outperforming the market on growth for full ear 2010.’

Picture credit: Colin Stout

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