Publicis Groupe reports £2.8bn revenues rise for 2005

A record number of new-business wins, totalling almost £6 billion resulted in a 7.7 per cent revenue rise to £2.8 billion for Publicis Groupe last year.

Announcing the figures this week, Maurice Levy, the Publicis chairman, said he expected the wins to lay the foundations for solid growth in 2006.

The group claimed its growth had outpaced that of the market in all parts of the world and predicted that its operating margin would be above its 15.1 per cent target.

Publicis, whose communications empire includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia, reported fourth-quarter revenue growth of £858 million, a 13.4 per cent increase on the same period in 2004.

The figures come on the back of Starcom's capture of General Motors' $3.5 billion media account in the US and ZenithOptimedia's success in taking L'Oreal's £100 million European media work.

Fourth-quarter revenues grew by 5.2 per cent in Europe compared with 11.7 per cent in North America and 10.3 per cent in Asia-Pacific.

Levy cited three reasons for the group's continued growth: its deep understanding of new media, its ability to use it effectively on behalf of clients and its success at meeting the growing needs for healthcare communications.

He said: "Prospects for 2006 are favourable, as new accounts are ramped up, and will drive part of growth expected in 2006. Firmer markets in France and Germany offer additional support for this growth, while events including the World Cup and, to a lesser extent, the Winter Olympics, will provide added impetus."