7.5% Revenue Boost for Publicis

BOSTON Riding a wave of new-business wins that included General Motors and L’Oreal, Publicis Groupe said its 2005 revenue rose approximately 7.5 percent to slightly more than $5 billion, while its fourth-quarter revenue improved more than 13 percent to $1.4 billion.

Organic growth, which factors out the impact of currency fluctuations, was close to 7 percent for the year and 8.5 percent for the fourth quarter.

All geographic areas grew at least 4 percent last year in organic terms, with the Asia-Pacific and Latin America (up 10 percent each) and North America regions (8 percent) leading the way.

The Paris-based holding company said record 2005 new-business totaling $9.8 billion in billings drove the strong performance.

Publicis said its operating margin would be above the 15.1 percent it tallied in 2004.

“Prospects for 2006 are favorable, as new accounts won in 2005 are ramped up, and will drive part of the growth expected in 2006,” said Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy, in a statement. “Firmer markets in France and Germany offer additional support for this solid growth, while major sporting events including the Football World Cup, and to a lesser extent the Winter Olympics, will provide added impetus.”

New business during the year included GM’s North American media account and L’Oreal’s European media duties. Those two pieces of business are worth more than $3.5 billion combined.

In accordance with French accounting practices, the company will report its earnings on March 3.

Publicis is the parent of Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, among others.