PARIS: Publicis Groupe reported $1.386 billion in consolidated revenue for the third quarter ending September 30, a 5.1% revenue growth compared with Q3 2007 with constant exchange rates.
For the first nine months of 2008, total revenues were $4.179 billion, up 6.8% over last year at constant exchange rates. Organic growth was 4.9% through September 30. New business totaled $3.7 billion for the first nine months, with new clients including Bank of America, Lunesta, and Disneyland Resort Paris. Publicis Public Relations and Corporate Communications Group added EBSCO in the US to its roster and AXA in France and the Netherlands, among others.
Mark Hass, CEO of MS&L, said the PR group also saw growth abroad and in the digital space.
"MS&L Worldwide's revenue in the third quarter grew at a higher percentage than the Groupe's overall business, with the fastest growth - at double-digit levels - taking place in China and Europe," Hass wrote in an e-mail to PRWeek. "MS&L Worldwide also expanded it's strong US digital practice globally in 2008 with major investments in people and processes. Those investments are paying off as digital revenue continues to grow faster than the rest of the business, especially in the U.S. and China."
While the firm showed positive results, chairman and CEO Maurice Levy cautioned that the current economic turmoil will have repercussions into 2009.
“The third quarter ended with higher organic growth than we expected, and finished better than we might have feared, given the turmoil in the world-wide financial system,” he noted in a statement. “These disturbances pushed the mature economies into a zone of turbulence, of which it is difficult to foresee either the intensity or the duration. In this context, we believe our industry will face a difficult end of 2008 and a marked slowdown in 2009.”
Publicis attributed 18.9% of its revenues for the first nine months of the year to digital activity and 22.7% to emerging market activities. These numbers are up compared to last year, from 13.6% and 20.9% respectively. In Europe, the company is seeing “signs of a slowdown” in the UK, Spain, and Germany, but saw 21.1% organic growth in China, India, and Russia.
“Our objectives for 2009 are to consolidate revenue by increasing our market share in classic creative agencies, and to push ahead in fields where we have leadership positions: digital and high-growth markets,” Levy added.