Publicis Groupe exceeds 2019 results in Q2 2021

Publicis Groupe has released its second quarter financial results for 2021, which sees continued growth after a strong start to the year.

Arthur Sadoun, chairman and CEO of Publicis Group said: “In the first half of the year, we had a very strong performance thanks to our model in an improving business environment. Not only did we fully recover the revenue lost in 2020, but all of our KPIs over the first half exceeded 2019 levels. In Q2, we posted 17.1% organic growth, improving by 2% compared to 2019, despite the effects of the pandemic.”

Publicis Groupe shows full recovery with all KPIs exceeding 2019 levels in Q2 results

Publicis Groupe said the US and Asia Pacific organic growth along with a big bounce back in Europe, which had a weak first quarter due to the pandemic, was the reason for its strong results.

Net revenue for Q2 2021 is €2.53 billion (A$4.04 billion), equating to a growth of 10.7% from Q1 2021 which was €2.29 billion (A$3.65 billion).

Publicis Groupe said that all regions strongly recovered in the second quarter and posted double-digit organic growth. There was an acceleration of growth in the Asia Pacific region, seeing a reported growth of 17.7%, accelerating in Q2.

This translated into a strong recovery ratio of 107% after an organic decline of 5.7% in Q2 2020. China reported an organic growth of 8%, Australia of 7.3% and India of 35.4%.

The US scored 15.2% organic growth, while Europe’s organic growth surged 23% thanks to the economy bouncing back when it came out of lockdown.


Net revenue in the Middle East and Africa region was up by 22.8% on an organic basis (18.3% reported). Net revenue in Latin America was up by 15.9% on an organic basis, translating into a recovery ratio of 92% as the region remained impacted by the sanitary situation. Growth on a reported basis was 8%, as the impact from currencies in the region remained negative.

“Our U.S operations posted 15.2% organic growth in Q2, with Epsilon, PMX and Sapient all delivering above 25%. Asia also accelerated further with 13.6% organic growth. Europe rebounded from a low base to 23%, mirroring the progressive lifting of lockdowns,” Sadoun said.

Q2 came ahead of Publicis Groupe’s expectations reflecting two main factors. First, an improving global context, characterised by mass re-openings in Europe and a continued uplift in the U.S. economy.

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Net financial debt amounted to €1.36 billion (A$2.16 billion) as of June 30, 2021 compared to €83 billion (A$132 billion) as of 31 December 2020. The Groupe’s average net debt in H1 2021 amounted to €1.61 billion (A$2.56 billion) compared to €3.68 billion (A$5.86 billion) in H1 2020.

In the first half 2021, the Groupe recovered the revenue lost in the same period in 2020, posting a 9.7% organic growth after drop of 8% in H1 2020.

“For the remaining part of the year, our ability to capture a disproportionate part of our clients’ investment in data and technology means we are in a position to upgrade our 2021 guidance.

“We now expect to totally recover to pre-pandemic levels, a year ahead of our initial expectations, with full year organic growth at 7% and full recovery in H2, and an operating margin of 17%, provided there are no major deteriorations in the global sanitary situation,” Sadoun said.


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