Publicis Groupe posts 7.1% organic revenue growth; data and tech the secret sauce

Data and digital units were Publicis Groupe’s recipes for success in the first quarter of 2023, as the French holding company posted a 7.1% organic increase in revenue.

Net revenue for the quarter was €3.07 billion (A$4.99 billion), up from €2.8 billion (A$4.55 billion) in the previous corresponding period. However, the organic growth rate slowed down from the double-digit figure last year.

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The divisions with “accretive” growth were Epsilon and Publicis Sapient, with 10% and 11% organic growth respectively.

Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, Arthur Sadoun, said the results in Q1 continued to demonstrate the effectiveness of the group’s “differentiated revenue mix”, with one-third in data and tech.

“Not only do those capabilities at scale lead us to outpace competition, but they also set us apart in the way we go to market,” he said.

“It is this differentiated revenue mix, our go-to-market and our platform organization, allowing us to invest in growth while delivering industry-high margins, which drive our confidence to achieve all of our 2023 KPIs guidance.”

Earlier this year, Publicis Groupe acquired Salesforce consultancy Tquila ANZ locally, which will become a part of Publicis Sapient.

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In terms of regional growth, Asia Pacific posted €250 million (A$406 million) in net revenue for the quarter. The region saw only 0.8% organic growth due to the “phasing of a large project” in Thailand, while Australia posted 5.4% organic growth.

Net debt was €442 million (A$719 million) at the end of March 2023, compared to €718 million (A$1.16 billion) at the end of the previous corresponding period.

The group expected the organic growth for the full year to reach the top half of the 3% to 5% range and reiterated its guidance of 17.5% to 18% operating margin rate.

Publicis Groupe is the largest advertising holding company by market cap (€19.88 billion or A$32.33 billion), followed by Omnicom Group.

The last traded price for the company was €76.18 (A$123.93).


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