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Publicis Groupe Q1 Net Revenue Up 1.7%; Confirms 2019 Outlook

Publicis Groupe (PGPEF.PK,PUBGY.PK), a French multinational advertising and public relations company, reported that its net revenue for the first-quarter of 2019 was 2.118 billion euros, up 1.7% from 2.082 billion euros in 2018.

Exchange rates had a positive impact of 93 million euros. Acquisitions, net of disposals, accounted for a decrease in net revenue of 18 million euros, reflecting the disposal of Publicis Health Solutions or PHS effective at the end of January 2019 not entirely offset by the contribution of acquisitions, notably Xebia and Soft Computing in France.

On organic basis, net revenue for the quarter was down 1.8%, or 1.6% excluding PHS, mainly reflecting attrition of a handful of FMCG clients. Net revenue from strategic game changers grew 27%.

Net revenue in Europe was up 3.1% or up 0.7% on an organic basis excluding PHS.

North America net revenue was broadly flat on a reported basis but posted a decline of 4.3% organically, excluding PHS.

Asia Pacific net revenue was up 4.0% on a reported basis and 1.2% on an organic basis, with Singapore at 7.0% and India at +9.3%. China was slightly negative at -0.3%.

Latin America net revenue was down 8.3% on a reported basis, and down 6.3% on an organic basis. This reflected a tough comparable base. Brazil at -6.3% organically and Mexico at -11.4% explain the negative growth in this region.

The Middle East & Africa region reported a rise of 32.7% in net revenue, or 26.6% on an organic basis.

Publicis Groupe confirmed outlook for 2019 for the company standalone. It expects a higher organic growth in 2019 compared to 2018, a 30 to 50-basis point increase of our operating margin rate and an increase in headline earnings per share between 5% and 10% at constant exchange rates and excluding "BEAT" tax.

Separately, Publicis Groupe said that it agreed to acquire Alliance Data's Epsilon business for a net purchase price of $3.95 billion after tax step-up or total cash consideration of $4.40 billion.

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