Publicis Groupe predicts organic growth as Sapient acquisition swells first half revenues

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 10.18.24 AMAdvertising holding company Publicis Groupe has said organic earnings are expected to pick up in the second half of the year as the inclusion of Sapient helped grow revenue by more than 35 per cent in the first half.

The agency group completed the acquisition of Boston-based Sapient Corporation in February for $3.7 billion. It has offices under the SapientNitro badge in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Revenue for the French company, which owns Leo Burnett, Starcom Mediavest and ZenithOptimedia among others, increased to 4.542bn Euros ($6.74bn) in the first half with net income rising almost 40 per cent to 363m Euros $538m. It reported organic growth of 1.4 per cent.

Publicis Groupe chairman Maurice Lévy  described the performance as “solid”, before telling investors the second quarter result was a “slight improvement”.

Its financial statement did not provide a country by country breakdown, but regionally organic growth in Asia Pacific climbed 3.1 per cent in the first half – with India up 14.7 per cent – and by 3.3 per cent in the second quarter.

“Publicis Groupe has produced solid performance levels in the first half of 2015,” Lévy said. “The combined effects of the Sapient acquisition, the strengthening of the dollar and the good work put in by our staff have considerably improved our key figures.”

He said digital activities accounted for over half its revenue in this first half-year.

Lévy said the integration of Sapient “is slightly ahead of schedule”, adding that it is “fulfilling promises that exceed our strategic valuation of the company”.

“In tomorrow’s world, which will be defined by digital, data compiling and processing as well as technological investment in marketing, Sapient’s contribution will make it an acquisition of great quality that enables us to help our clients develop and transform themselves,” Lévy said.

“None of our competitors is capable, on a standalone basis, of providing a complete range of services from consulting and technology right up to the execution of communications programs. ”

He predicted an acceleration of organic growth in the second half-year of 2015 and said the full year “should deliver excellent levels of performance including double digit increase of our revenue, operating margin, and headline EPS (earnings per share).”


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