TOKYO Dentsu said it would report a $207 million loss for its fiscal year ended March 31, due largely to a substantial write-down of its 15 percent stake in Publicis Groupe.
This will mark Dentsu’s first loss since it began reporting earnings in 1978.
Japan’s largest ad agency had previously said it expected to report net income of $111 million.
Dentsu is the largest shareholder in Publicis, the Paris-based marketing communications company, outside of the family shareholders of founder Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet.
In a statement, Dentsu said it lost $515 million on its stock portfolio, $384 million of that due to the large drop in the value of Publicis’ shares.
Still, the company raised estimates for its operating profit to $436 million, up 21 percent from a forecast made in February. Dentsu said the improved results reflected cost-cutting efforts and a lesser decline in the advertising market than it had expected three months ago. Dentsu reported net income of $365 million in the previous fiscal year.
Dentsu will report its full-year results and outlook on May 11.