Publicis Beats Q3 Expectations, Upgrades Outlook


Driven by strong performances from its media operations and data unit Epsilon, Publicis Groupe grew 5.3% organically in the third quarter, ahead of expectations and prompting the holding company to upgrade its full-year growth guidance to between 5.5% and 6%. That’s up from earlier guidance of 5%, which was above its initial projection of 3% to 5%.  



The company said the latest upgrade factors in economic and social tensions that are likely to continue to affect client spending and further delays by marketers in fulfilling digital business transformation goals. Possible downward end-of-year adjustments to advertisers’ budgets have also been considered. 

Q4 organic growth is now expected to be between 3% and 5%. Company shares were up 5% on the strong results in morning trading on the Paris Exchange.

The firm’s media operations were up high-single-digits on a percentage basis while Epsilon was up 10.5%. Creative operations grew single digits and digital transformation unit Publicis Sapient was up 1.2% on top of 18% growth in the year-ago period. 

All regions posted growth including the U.S., which was up 3.2% following double-digit growth in the last two years. Europe was a standout at 10.7%, while the Asia Pacific region posted a 3.8% gain.  

“Looking at our growth journey since the pandemic, the acceleration of our growth amid persistent macroeconomic challenges is clearly visible,” stated company CEO Arthur Sadoun. Q3 was up 22% versus the same quarter in 2019, shortly before the COVID crisis hit, he noted.  

“For the rest of the year, we intend to lead what we believe to be the two major priorities for our industry today: Bringing our teams back together in person, and accelerating the AI-ification of our operations.” Publicis Sapient will be the main driver on the artificial intelligence front.  

The company also said its operating profit margin will be 18% for the full year, slightly ahead of its previous forecast, while free cash flow will total 1.7 billion euros, about 100 million euros more than the previous projection.  

The company reported net revenue of over 3.2 billion euros for the third quarter and nearly 9.6 billion euros for the first nine months of the year, up almost 5%.  

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