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Publicis claims good outlook for 2008 as revenues rise

PARIS - Publicis Groupe, owner of agencies Saatchi & Saatchi and Starcom MediaVest, has reported revenue growth of 8.2% for the first quarter of the year to €1.06bn (£830m).

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The company said that, in spite of difficulties in its healthcare communications division, it expected good growth for the year, driven by its digital and media businesses and growth from the emerging markets where it has operations.

New-business wins would also help maintain growth, Publicis said. Accounts it picked up over the first quarter include Starcom MediaVest's $150m global Emirates win and the consolidation of the £65m BT media account in the UK; and Miller, which was won by Saatchi & Saatchi.

Publicis' first-quarter revenue figure excludes the impact of currency exchange rates. The falling US dollar hit revenues by around €61m despite the fact that in US dollars growth for the North America region stood at 8.2% for the first quarter, compared with the same period last year.

Maurice Levy, Publicis chairman and CEO, said: "The strategy deployed in recent years and the investments to bolster our digital activities and expand business in the emerging countries are producing very positive results that should continue and even improve over the next two to three years. Our margins and financial indicators in the first quarter were in line with our plans. "

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