Publicis shares rise after upbeat results

LONDON - Shares in Publicis Groupe, the French advertising company, were on the rise today after it published an upbeat set of figures and said the outlook for the year was very promising.

Publicis shares, listed in Paris, were up by 2.37% to €33.27 this morning. Publicis, which is in the middle of its B|Com3 takeover, said that revenue for the quarter ending March 31 2002 rose 4.6% to €576m (£359m), up from €550m for the same period this year.

When adjusted for constant exchange rates, this represents a 2.2% drop in revenues for the quarter. The group owns agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Fallon Worldwide, and the Zenith Optimedia Group, in which Cordiant has a 25% share.

Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO of Publicis, said: "In this environment, our performance is extremely encouraging, with revenues up 4.6% in absolute terms and a decline of just 2.2% on a comparative basis.

"Given the marketplace's limited visibility, and in preparation for our merger with B|Com3, Publicis will be focusing on carefully managing and further developing our extremely strong and broad client portfolio and on improving operating margins in order to achieve the ambitious targets we have set."

The statement said that the $3bn merger with B|Com3 was due to be completed by September 2002 at the latest, and that initial indications had shown no major obstacles to the completion.

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