French advertising and communications firm Publicis Groupe SA (PUBGY.PK,PGPEF.PK) Friday said its third-quarter revenues increased 14.7 percent, with an organic growth of 2 percent.
The company noted that in July and August, performances were in line with its expectations. Meanwhile, in September, the slowdown in the global economy, with a particularly sharp downturn in European economies, brought advertising investment to an abrupt halt. Instead of its 6.6 percent growth forecast, the month ended with negative growth of 1.6 percent, mainly as a result of Europe, it said.
Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of the company said, "While southern Europe has seen a steady decline in advertising markets, starting in September, northern Europe suffered downturns as severe as they were sudden. Widespread as these downturns are, it is France that has suffered most."
In the third quarter, the company posted revenues of 1.63 billion euros, up from 1.42 billion euros reported a year ago. In Europe, excluding Russia and Turkey, organic growth was a negative 3.6 percent. In North America, revenues grew 3.2 percent.
For the first nine months, revenues grew 14.4 percent to 4.71 billion euros. Revenues improved 2.5 percent organically. During the period, digital activities combined with high-growth countries accounted for 55.2 percent of the Groupe's consolidated revenue.
Looking ahead, Publicis Groupe said it is confident of maintaining its margin targets and confirmed its medium-term objective of a +200 to 400 basis point improvement in operating margin. The company also stands by its long-term aim of a dividend pay-out ratio of 35%.
In Paris, Publicis Groupe shares are currently trading at 40.35 euros, down 1.33 percent.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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