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Publicis confident after organic revenue growth of 5%

LONDON - Publicis Groupe, owner of Saatchi & Saatchi and ZenithOptimedia, has said that organic growth rose by 4.8% for the quarter, bringing revenues to €932m (£645m).

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Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Levy said that the revenue growth had been achieved despite what he described as tepid spending at this year's Euro 2004 football championship, held in Portugal in June and July. He warned that the market could be facing football fatigue.

Nonetheless, Levy said that he was "very confident and very cautious" about the rest of the year, and that there are positive signs for 2004, with Publicis set to see a rise in operating margins.

The company said that adspend had shown a healthy rise in North America and that there were signs of recovery in all other markets. Europe saw revenues rise by 3.5% to €366m, while North America was up 3.1% to €411m.

Levy said: "The world market remains firm, with growth continuing at a satisfactory pace. As we anticipated, growth is picking up in Europe to offset somewhat slower growth in North America, while growth in Asia remains satisfactory."

The company also reported that new business was off to a good start in the fourth quarter of the year, with three wins representing total billings of €1.7bn, including a share of the global Nestle account, won by ZenithOptimedia.

Shares in the company, listed on the Paris Bourse, were trading at €24.12 this morning, after dipping by 0.66%.

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