NEWS26 October 2012

Publicis Groupe reports Q3 revenues up 2%

Europe Financials

FRANCE— Publicis Groupe has reported revenue growth of 2% for the third quarter to €1.63bn, slowed by the Eurozone crisis and the end of the “summer of sport” creating a slowdown in advertising investments.

The group cited Europe as the reason it had not met analysts’ expectations. Third-quarter revenues for the continent fell 3.6% overall with southern European revenues slumping by 8.7%. The UK market fell 0.8% while France and Germany declined 2.2% and 1.8% respectively.

Publicis Groupe chief executive, Maurice Lévy said a lack of activity in September after months of sport (Euro 2012, the Olympics, the Parlaympics) meant that “September saw a downturn as sharp as it was unexpected. The slowdown in the global economy – with a particularly sharp downturn in European economies – brought advertising investment to an abrupt halt.”

Lévy warned that advertisers would take a “wait and see” attitude in the months ahead and as a result the group is paying closer attention to its cost structure and adjusting rapidly to the situation over the quarters ahead.

Outside Europe, Publicis Groupe fared much better. North America grew by 3.2%, although the company admitted that September revenue growth fell below expectations. A grouping of nine countries including Brazil, Russia, India and China grew at 8.5%. The rest of the world grew by 3.6%.

“The areas of concern are clearly identified and limited both geographically and by sector and in no way undermine the potential of Publicis Groupe,” said Lévy.

Last month digital agency LBi announced that it had reached an agreement with Publicis Groupe to be acquired for €416m. The deal includes the data businesses Bigmouthmedia and social media marketing and insights firm Mr Youth.