Publicis growth to continue, Levy says

An improving commercial climate was one of the factors that helped Publicis Groupe to boost its revenues last year by 6.3 per cent, to reach £2.89 billion.

And Maurice Levy, the group chairman, predicted that this momentum would continue into 2007, thanks to the growth from interactive and from emerging markets.

With the group's £700 million acquisition of Digitas, the digital marketing operation, now complete, Levy said he expected interactive communications to contribute almost 15 per cent of group revenues.

Emerging markets, which already account for 21 per cent of revenues, were showing similar cause for optimism, according to Levy. " The pace of business was excellent," he commented.

Marked improvements in South Korea and China contributed to a 3.4 per cent organic growth rate for the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, a strong fourth-quarter performance contributed to a 16.3 per cent organic growth level for Africa and the Middle East.

Europe (rose 5.5 per cent), North America (6.6 per cent) and Latin America (10.9 per cent) all helped achieve what the group described as a "satisfactory performance".

Publicis Groupe networks, which include Saatchi & Saatchi, ZenithOptimedia, Leo Burnett and Starcom MediaVest, secured a total of £1.7 billion-worth of new business last year.

However, the group was forced to part company with its £55 million SFR telecoms business in France, as well as losing its Heineken account in the US.