Publicis Groupe Starts The Year Off Strong With 10.5% Growth In Q1

Publicis Groupe got off to strong start in the first quarter of the year, posting net revenue of €2.8 billion (about $3.05 billion), up 17.1%. 

The holding company posted organic growth (which factors out M&A and currency impact) of 10.5%, well above the 2.8% growth achieved in Q1 2021. 

By region, organic growth was strongest in Europe at 14.9% which the group said was fueled by particularly strong performances in the UK and France. Asia Pacific was not far behind at 14.4%. Middle East/Africa and Latin America both posted 13%-plus growth. 

Growth in North America remained strong at 8.1%, where data unit Epsilon was called out as a key performer. Digital transformation division Publicis Sapient was also cited as a key contributor with 16.3% growth (and 18.5% growth globally). 

Media operations in the NA region were up double-digits and creative units were up by mid-single digits, with production being a standout performer. 



Canada was up 11.7% and the U.S. came in at 8%. 

While the quarter overall was stronger than expected the firm said it was standing by guidance issued earlier in the year with organic growth expected at the high end of its previously stated range of 4% to 5%. But macroeconomic wildcards including high inflation and the continuing potential impact of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global economy create too much uncertainty to raise guidance at this time, the Groupe said. 

Organic growth in the second quarter is expected to be around 5%, versus the 17.1% achieved in the second quarter 2021. The latter performance reflected the Groupe’s rebound from COVID-stricken 2020. 

“We started the year very strongly,” said Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun. “Our model is going from strength to strength as it continues to capture rising client demand for first-party data, digital media and commerce.” 

The company’s strong Q1 performance coincided with an upsurge in major account wins which bodes well for subsequent quarters when revenues from those wins fully kick in. Wins last quarter included McDonald’s, A-B InBev, Pepsi, Siemens, LVMH and others.


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