Publicis Groupe posted a 5.6% organic revenue decline in the third quarter. Organic revenue for the first nine months of the year is down 7.2%.
The 2.4% organic drop in the U.S. during the quarter was better than analyst forecasts of a 7% decline. The U.S. now represents 60% of the Groupe’s business, according to CEO Arthur Sadoun who discussed results early Thursday on an earnings conference call with investors.
“For the second quarter in a row, we are confirming that we have strong foundations to weather these unprecedented times,” Sadoun said.
Publicis Groupe's net revenue in Q3 was $2.69 billion (2.3 billion euros) compared to $3.04 billion (2.6 billion euros) in Q3 2019, down by -9.1%.
Publicis Groupe's net revenue in the first nine months was $8.31 billion (7.1 billion euros) compared to $8.08 billion (6.9 billion euros) in the comparable 2019 period, up 2.7%. Exchange rate variations had a $74 million (63 million euros) negative impact.
Asia Pacific reported some of the more disappointing results. The region’s net revenue was down 11.5% on a reported basis and down by 9.2% on an organic basis. Europe net revenue declined by 9.0% on an organic basis in Q3.
The Groupe’s global performance was stronger in North America during the quarter with net organic revenue down 3.0%.
For the first nine months of the year Asia Pacific’s organic growth down 5.9%. Latin America was down 15.4% and Middle East and Africa down by 11.5.%. North America was the bright spot with organic growth down only 3.4%.
Notably, the Groupe’s Board has decided to reallocate 23,328 shares, previously dedicated to external growth operations, for share awards to certain employees.
The Groupe is cautious about its future performance, warning with the current resurgence of the pandemic and the restrictions imposed, “we have to be cautious about Q4, which might be impacted further and come below Q3,” stated Sadoun.