Publicis Groupe reports third quarter organic growth of 1%

A string of new business wins for MSLGroup played its part in restrained growth at Publicis Groupe, the French marketing services holding company, last quarter.

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy: Said last month he would step down in 2016
Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy: Said last month he would step down in 2016

MSL, the international PR network that Publicis recently strengthened by acquiring SalterBaxter in the UK, won accounts including Huawei in China, Pfizer in India and True Green in the US.

The French group does not provide details on its PR revenues, so it is not possible to see how it measures up to Interpublic, which claimed high single-digit PR growth yesterday, and Omnicom, which reported 2.5 per cent organic PR growth on Tuesday.

Publicis’ overall performance, with organic growth of one per cent and third quarter revenues of €1.75bn (£1.38bn / $2.21bn), was described by its CEO Maurice Lévy as below expectations.

Probably referencing the failed merger with Omnicom, Lévy said: "There are a number of factors behind this, mainly the fact that management was too focused on other plans and not enough on the short-term performance and growth.

"We are at the end of this cycle and very confident in the future. Very important decisions have been made including management teams and organisation."

Performance was mixed at a regional level, with European revenues down 0.5 per cent (including a 2.6 per cent drop in the UK) but US revenues up 1.5 per cent.

A third category, BRIC + MISSAT, was up 0.6 per cent (the acronym refers to Brazil, Russia, India, China + Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey) and the ‘rest of the world’ was up 3.1 per cent.

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