Publicis Groupe UK revenue down 0.7%

Publicis Groupe's UK organic revenue shrank by 0.7 per cent year on year in the first three months of 2016, despite the company's global revenue growing by 8.9 per cent.

Maurice Lévy: warned of caution as big media losses will impact the company's future earnings reports
Maurice Lévy: warned of caution as big media losses will impact the company's future earnings reports

In its first quarter results for 2016, the owner of Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Starcom Mediavest Group reported total revenue of €2.23 billion (£1.81 billion), up from €2.1 billion for the same period last year.

The company’s European revenue climbed by 7.3 per cent year on year.  Excluding the impact of acquisitions and exchange rate fluctuations, organic growth was 3.4 per cent for Europe. 

In North America, the group’s revenue grew by 12.9 per cent year on year, but future quarters will be impacted by the loss of big US media accounts in recent months, such as Walmart in February and Procter & Gamble in December 2015.

Maurice Lévy, the chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, said the company had made a "promising" start to 2016 and praised Sapient, which grew by more than 10 per cent last year. Sapient was acquired for $3.7 billion last February

He said: "With 55 per cent of our revenue coming from digital, we are confident about our future but must remain cautious about the next two quarters which will be more impacted by losses that occurred in the 2015 media account reviews."

The company is undergoing a global restructure into four solutions hubs in a bid to break down silos and allow clients to more efficiently use its agencies' capabilities across different disciplines. These hubs are Publicis Communications (advertising); Publicis Media; Publicis.Sapient (digital); and Publicis Healthcare.

Lévy added: "By this summer, this major undertaking should be finalized, with the complete disappearance of silos and holding company status. Publicis Groupe is becoming a ‘connecting company’, one that combines creativity and technology in an offering that is integrated, open-ended and flexible, thanks to its modular design.

"Our objective remains achieving our three priorities: the completion of our organisation by the end of the first half of 2016, the return to more usual levels of growth, and the continued improvement of our profitability."

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