Publicis Groupe's revenue up 32% at ?2.1 million in Q1 2015

MUMBAI: Advertising major Publicis Groupe reported a 31.7 per cent jump in first-quarter sales as a result of the positive impact of exchange rates, and partly due to its latest digital acquisition of Sapient.

The agency?s first-quarter sales rose to ?2.1 billion from ?1.6 billion in the same period last year as the group benefited from the strong dollar and pound sterling compared with the euro.

Acquisitions contributed ?274 million or 17.2 per cent of revenue.

Growth Forecast

The company?s organic growth stood at +0.9 per cent. Though global economic growth has seen contrasting trends since the start of the year, Publicis achieved growth notably as a result of its strong presence in digital, which has become its main activity. Digital activities progressed by +4.7 per cent and now account for 50.2 per cent of total revenue. Healthcare also performed well. 

North America revenue grew by 45 per cent to ?1.15 billion, followed by Europe with an increase of 21.3 per cent to ?575 million. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and MISSAT (Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey) markets rose by 13.2 per cent to ?215 million euros. India, specifically, continued on the road to recovery with growth of +5.7 per cent.

The agency said that in December, revenue will grow at two per cent above the industry average each year from 2016, with digital operations rising to 60 per cent of sales in 2018. Publicis predicted that the operating margin will rise to between 17.3 and 19.3 per cent of sales in 2018, compared with 15.3 per cent in 2012.

Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Maurice Levy said, ?Our revenue is up to slightly over 30 per cent, partly due to the positive impact of exchange rates, and partly to the inclusion of Sapient since completing the acquisition. As we?ll continue to see, this is one of the important milestones of the Groupe?s transformation. We expected organic growth to be slightly down this quarter, but, on the contrary, it is up almost one per cent. This isn?t yet the growth rate we expect to see out of Publicis Groupe, but is nonetheless an encouraging return to growth.?

?The main event of this early part of the year has been the completion of the Sapient acquisition, an event that gives Publicis Groupe a new strategic dimension while excelling the Groupe?s transformation. The integration process is already underway and the prevailing spirit is excellent,? Levy added.

With the acquisition of Sapient, Publicis Groupe has become the only global group present all along the value chain - from consulting to marketing, from communications to commerce ? brought to life through an outstanding expertise in the most high-performing technologies.

Levy is hopeful that the second quarter will be better than the first, albeit with modest growth. Organic growth is expected to be higher in the second half-year. The Groupe expects that its high exposure to digital activities will ensure its future growth and the continued improvement of its margins between now and 2018. 

Publicis Groupe is the third largest global advertising holding company in the world after WPP and Omnicom. 

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