Publicis Reports 7% Rev Rise

Better-than-expected organic growth pushed Paris-based advertising company Publicis Groupe SA to strong second-quarter results.

The company witnessed a 7.1% improvement in organic revenue growth (from existing businesses and without currency fluctuations) in the second quarter -- more than double the gain from its first-quarter financial report.

Strong results have allowed the company to estimate its now-expected organic revenue growth to be 3.5% for 2010, up from a previous 3.0% number.

Maurice Levy

CEO Maurice Levy said there should be other improvements as well.

Previously, Publicis estimated 15% margins for the company. Now it appears that number could climb. He added that almost all of Publicis' 30 biggest clients have increased their budgets. The ad agency group's clients include Procter & Gamble and French carmaker Renault.

Publicis added that digital agency group Razorfish is still undergoing integration into the company as whole, which is causing it to underperform in terms of profit margins relative to other company divisions. Publicis bought Razorfish from Microsoft in August 2009 for $530 million.

In addition, during the first six months of the year, the advertising agency giant said it won new business amounting to $2.1 billion in billings.

Second-quarter revenue climbed 21% to $1.79 billion, due to gains for virtually all territories -- except for the Middle East and Africa. Net profit rose 27.5% to $277 million.

Levy stated: "Without lapsing into the euphoria that these half-year results for our Groupe might warrant, I remain firmly convinced that Publicis Groupe will succeed in outperforming the market in terms of both growth and margin."

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