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Publicis hails new business as revenues jump in better than expected market

LONDON - Publicis Groupe has reported revenues up 7.4% after a string of new-business wins and a stronger than expected advertising market, according to its latest results.

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Third quarter results show that new accounts booked by the group's agencies totalled $2.1bn (£1.18bn) for the period, putting the net total for the first nine months of 2005 at $8.2bn, compared with $2.6bn in the same period last year.

Publicis also reported strong organic growth of 6.2% on the same period last year.

New accounts during the period include Starcom winning Gillette's £340m global media account and Publicis Groupe being awarded Fidelity Investment's Asian advertising account.

The period saw the acquisition of a majority stake in UK public relations outfit Freud Communications, as well as exploratory takeover talks with Aegis Group in September that were eventually abandoned last month after French rival and Havas Vincent Bollore continued to increase his stake.

Maurice Levy, Publicis chairman and CEO, said: "We are understandably pleased with the performance of Publicis Groupe in the third quarter of 2005, coming as it does after an already robust first half."

New York and Paris listed Publicis's other agencies include advertising firms Leo Burnett Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and media buying company ZenithOptimedia.

Publicis shares were up 0.3% this morning at €27.66.

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