Publicis Groupe reports 9.2% organic growth in Q3

Publicis Groupe has announced Q3 financial results . consolidated revenue in the first nine months of 2010 was 3,858 million euros, up 18.5% from the 3,256 million reported in the prior year period. Organic growth at September 30 was 6.6%, in contrast to a 6.9% year onyear decrease reported at September 30, 2009. Revenue for the period breaks down as follows: 33% from advertising (vs. 37% in 2009), 19% from media business (vs. 21% in 2009) and 48% from SAMS – Specialized Agencies and Marketing Services (vs. 42% in 2009), which includes digital.

Digital communications generated 28.7% of total revenue at September 30, 2010 (21.3% in 2009) and were a major growth driver. By way of comparison, revenue totalled 1,162 million euro in the first quarter and 1,376 million in the second quarter (vs. 1,075 million euro in Q1 2009 and 1,134 million in Q2 2009). Organic growth was 3.1% in the first quarter and 7.1% in the second quarter (in contrast to –4.4% in Q1 2009 and –8.6% in Q2 2009).

Maurice Lévy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Groupe, said:“The 9.2% organic growth achieved in the third quarter is partly due to an upturn in the global advertising market, but more importantly, it is the outcome of our investment strategy in two highgrowth areas, digital and emerging markets.Our 12.0% growth in North America is a striking illustration of that strategy’s success. Digital now accounts for 44.4% of Publicis Groupe revenue in North America”.

At September 30, 2010, Publicis Groupe had net debt of 512 million euro, a figure 277 million lower than at September 30, 2009, and this after repurchasing and immediately cancelling Publicis Groupe shares in the amount of 218 million euro.Over the first nine months of 2010, average net debt is 666 million euro, down by 295 million from the average net debt for the nine months ended September 30, 2009. At September 30, 2010, Publicis Groupe had available liquidity of 3.6 billion euro (not including 231 million in uncommitted facilities).

“A further indication that we are making the right investment choices is our strong performance in the BRIC countries, where revenue growth is up 15.6%. In addition to reshaping our strategy to accelerate growth in China, we have made acquisitions in this country (G4), in India (20:20) and in Brazil (AG2 and Talent Group). We have every reason to be pleased with our results. Despite traditional fourthquarter uncertainties, we are confident about how the year will end. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their confidence, and our teams for their determination, as this is what made the Group’s performance possible.With competitive strengths like our positions in digital communications and fast growing countries (the two sectors we expect to eventually generate 60% of our revenue), we believe we can and will sustainably outperform the market,” Maurice Lévy said.

The latest ZenithOptimedia figures confirm the steady improvement from quarter to quarter in the global advertising market. The full‐year growth outlook for 2010 has been revised upwards – from 3.5% to 4.8% according to the most recent estimate. This comforts the IMF projections which raised global GDP forecast to 4.6% in July.

The very high growth achieved by Publicis Groupe in the last three quarters, its large roster of New Business wins, and its excellent positions in digital communications and emerging markets all provide solid foundations for sustainable above market growth for the years to come.

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