Publicis’ Revenue Up 6%

BOSTON Riding a robust new-business performance and solid contributions across all operating regions, Publicis Groupe today reported 2006 revenue of nearly $6 billion. That was more than a 6 percent improvement compared to the previous 12 months.

In terms of organic growth, factoring out currency fluctuations and acquisitions, the Paris-based holding company’s revenue increased about 5.5 percent.

During the year, the company enjoyed at least 5 percent organic revenue growth in all of its regions. The company fared best in Africa and Latin America, where it grew 20 percent and more than 9 percent for the year, respectively.

Publicis claimed $3.3 billion in net new business for the year.

Company chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy noted that 2007 has started well, with major assignments from Fox, Wal-Mart and Wendy’s.

“Prospects for business in 2007 are favorable, with organic growth set to gain significant momentum from two drivers: interactive communications, which will contribute almost 15 percent of revenue following the integration of Digitas, and the continued strong growth in emerging markets, which already account for 21 percent of revenue,” he said, in a statement.

Publicis completed its $1.3 billion acquisition of Boston-based interactive and direct marketing firm Digitas last week. The latter will function as a wholly owned Publicis subsidiary, operating its three digital agencies: Digitas, Modem Media and Medical Broadcasting Company. Key Digitas clients are American Express, Delta Air Lines and General Motors.

Publicis’ French rival Havas last week posted essentially flat revenue for 2006. The competition between the two came into focus in the third quarter with the departures of Publicis execs Christophe Lambert, Fred Raillard and Farid Mokart. They have launched Paris-based Fred/Faird/Lambert, backed by financier Vincent Bolloré, who also serves as chairman of Havas.

In accordance with French accounting practices, both Havas and Publicis will disclose their 2006 net incomes in coming weeks.