Publicis Groupe is fully reimbursing all of the voluntary salary cuts made in 2020 by more than 6,000 leaders and setting aside a higher bonus pool thanks to its “above industry averages” financial earnings, says Arthur Sadoun, CEO/Chairman, Publicis Groupe.
Sadoun said he appreciates the sacrifice team members made “when the world was falling apart” in order to “protect jobs.” He appeared in an internal video that was timed to the release of the holding company’s fourth quarter earnings.
The Groupe’s net revenue for the full year 2020 was $11.7 billion (9.712 million euros), down 0.9% compared versus 2019. Full-year organic revenue (which excludes currency and M&A impact) was down 6.3% which in “normal times is nothing to celebrate,” but reflected the Groupe’s ability to “stay strong,” says Sadoun.
The Groupe's net revenue in Q4 2020 was $3.12 billion (2.595 million euros), down 9.6% versus Q4 2019. The organic revenue decline for the quarter 3.9%.
In North America, reported revenue was up 8.7% for the full year and the organic decline was 2.4%. Epsilon delivered growth of 5.5% in Q4, supported with strong performance in health and with Sapient, “enabling our most important [region] to be slightly positive,” says Sadoun.
Other regions remained in the red. Europe’s net revenue was down -13.4% with a 12.7% organic decline. Asia Pacific dropped 7.4% on a reported basis and 6.7% on an organic basis. In Latin America, the activity was significantly impacted by the health situation in Brazil and Mexico, which resulted in an organic drop of 13.9% in 2020 for the region. Middle East and Africa’s reported growth was down 14.6% and the organic decline 11.7%.
“We gained market share by growing with our top 200 clients by 1.8%, and recorded continued new business momentum with wins like Kraft-Heinz, Reckitt Benckiser, Pfizer, Visa, L’Oréal in China, TikTok and Sephora,” stated Sadoun.
The company declined to provide detailed organic guidance for 2021, but anticipates that Q1 will be negative as it faces an unfavorable comparable, but growth should return in Q2 supported by a favorable year-to-year comparison.
“It is clear now that the crisis did not end with 2020,” states Sadoun. “So we are going into this new year with a renewed fighting spirit, ready to double down on our efforts to keep our people safe, make our clients win in a platform world and continue to improve our efficiency.”