Publicis Groupe posts 5.7% organic growth in Q4, 6.3% for full-year 2023

The group, which pre-released its Q4 and 2023 full-year results last month, cited strong performance across media, tech and creative for its 2024 goals.

Publicis' PR agencies include MSL and Kekst-CNC. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

PARIS: Publicis Groupe reported 5.7% organic growth to $3.8 million in Q4, as well as 6.3% organic growth for all of 2023 to $14.1 billion. 

The Paris-based agency holding company said it is expecting 4% to 5% organic growth in 2024, citing continued strong performance across media, tech and creative. Its PR firms include MSL and Kekst CNC. 

Media accounted for one-third of 2023 revenue, growing double-digits due to market-share gains and organic growth from existing clients. Data and tech accounted for another third of revenue. Publicis Sapient, a core part of the group’s AI plans, achieved 3.2% organic growth while Epsilon grew 9.6% for 2023, year-over-year, largely driven by its digital media and data divisions. Creative, the remaining third, had low-single-digit growth for the year, affected by localized cuts in North America in classic advertising.

Automotive accounted for the highest percentage of FY 2023 net revenue at 15%, followed by financial and healthcare at 14% each; food and beverage at 13%; technology, media and telecommunications at 12%; non-food consumer products at 11%; retail at 10%; public sector and other services as well as leisure and travel at 4% each; and energy and manufacturing at 3%. The breakdown is based on 3,641 clients representing 91% of the group’s net revenue. 

The holding company is organized into four hubs: Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis Sapient and Publicis Health. PR shops MSL and Kekst CNC sit under Publicis Communications.

Publicis pre-released its financial numbers last month as it announced its investments in AI. The holding company said it has designated about $322 million in AI investment for its entity CoreAI over the next three years and plans to spend $107.5 million of that this year.

North America, which accounted for 60% of revenue, was up 6% in Q4 and grew 4.9% to $8.7 billion for the full year. Europe improved by 4.3% in organic growth for Q4 and grew 10.3% to $3.4 billion in 2023. 

Publicis also said it was on track to have 45% of women in key positions of responsibility by 2025 and had reached its target of 43% by 2023.

MSL declined to comment on the agency’s individual revenue breakdown for Q4 or 2023.

While Publicis Groupe is on track to achieve 4% organic growth this year, the holding company said it could reach 5% and sustain an operating margin of 18% assuming an improvement in global conditions in the second half of the year. 

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