Publicis reports revenues up 45%
PARIS - Publicis Groupe, the world's number six advertising group, said it was too early to say what effect yesterday's plane crash would have as it reported a small rise in third-quarter billings up 1.4% to £2.33bn.
The rise reflected the tough conditions facing the industry although it did manage to top downbeat estimates.
Over the nine months, Publicis has fared well. It reported a 45% rise in third-quarter revenues to £2.3bn from £1.6bn.
Billings surged 56.5% in the first nine months to reach £6.9bn and group revenues for the first nine months hit £1bn.
Publicis said its performance reflected its balanced client and geographic activity mix, strong new-business performance worldwide, as well as the contribution of acquisitions, notably of Saatchi & Saatchi and Nelson Communications in the UK.
Net organic growth, excluding all acquisitions, was 4.6%. This is in contrast to the sector trend worldwide, which was down sharply compared with last year.
Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said, "The tragic events of September 11 exacerbated a worldwide slowdown that was apparent months earlier. Advertising markets contracted sharply, a trend that will certainly continue at least through the end of this year. In this difficult context, visibility is very constrained.
"Nevertheless, Publicis, while obviously not entirely sheltered from the difficulties of the economic situation, has held up better than the market as a whole thanks to our balanced portfolio of clients in different sectors, our broad geographical reach and our success in generating new business."
Publicis said it had been hit by slower growth in advertising and communication spending worldwide, a marked decline compared with last year in the US and Asia.
It said it benefited from the continued expansion in specialised agencies and marketing services units, including the acquisition of FusionDM, a major independent direct marketing agency in San Francisco, which merged with Publicis Dialog.
In July, Publicis and Cordiant pooled their media operations and created a new company, in which Publicis has a 75% interest, bringing together the Optimedia and Zenith Media networks.
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