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Publicis Groupe notches up 6.3% annual revenue growth

LONDON - Publicis Groupe increased annual revenues by 6.3% in 2006 to €4.39bn (£2.89bn), with a strong fourth-quarter performance helping annual organic growth to hit 5.6%.

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Maurice Levy, Publicis chairman and CEO, said he expected significant momentum for organic growth in 2007 from interactive communications, following its acquisition of Digitas in December, and from emerging markets.

He said: "We are confident about our levels of operating margin, net income and cash flow for the 2006 financial year."

During the fourth quarter, the group added $500m (£254m) in net new business, taking its full-year total to $3.3bn.

Significant fourth-quarter wins included media agency Starcom taking the £32m EMI and £15m Premier Foods UK accounts, and the £60m pan-European launch of Toyota's Auris going to Saatchi & Saatchi.

However, the group lost its €80m pan-European EDF account and was forced to pull out of defending its domestic SFR telecoms account to defend its France Telecom business. In the US, it lost Heineken and its only significant win was Procter & Gamble's Herbal Essences shampoo.

In the UK, the creative agency Publicis lost the £28m MFI account and the £12m Post Office account, but opened 2007 by taking the £20m global account for Airbus.

In January, Asda transferred its £44m business from the agency to Publicis Groupe-owned Fallon.

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