Publicis Sees 4.5 Percent Organic Revenue Gain

BOSTON Publicis Groupe today reported revenue of approximately $1.2 billion for the second quarter and $2.2 billion for the first six months of 2004, based on the current rate of exchange.

On an organic basis, both figures constitute a 4.5 percent improvement compared to the holding company’s performance during the same periods a year ago, Publicis said. On a non-organic basis, Q2 revenue rose about 2 percent, while first-half revenue was flat.

The Paris-based company said growth so far this year in Latin America (28 percent) and the Asia-Pacific region (8 percent) has been especially strong, while gains in North America (4 percent) and Europe (2 percent) have lagged behind. Even so, “Growth in all parts of the world and in all industries has been encouraging,” said Publicis Groupe chief executive Maurice Levy, in a statement. “First indications for 2005 market growth are that Europe should equal the U.S.”

Publicis said it gained $1.4 billion in overall new business during the second quarter, roughly equal to its first-quarter performance. Taking client losses over the same period into account, net new business totaled $900 million for Q2 and nearly $2 billion so far in 2004, Publicis said. Key wins across the company’s networks included Zurich Financial, L’Oreal, the French Ministry of Health and Petsmart. The major losses were Miramax, Subway and Toys R Us.

The company, which still expects an operating margin of 15 percent this year, is scheduled to release earnings in early September.

Publicis, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom MediaVest, Zenith Optimedia and Fallon rank among Publicis holdings.

Publicis’ performance thus far in 2004 mirrors that of its larger competitor Omnicom Group, with positive growth seen in most geographic sectors. On Tuesday, New York-based Omnicom said its international performance had outpaced its domestic progress in the first half, with international revenue up 17 percent to $2.1 billion and domestic improvement of 11 percent to $2.5 billion [Adweek Online, July 27].

—Adweek staff report