Publicis Groupe 2020 net revenue down -0.9%, organic growth falls -6.3%

Publicis Groupe has released its full-year global financial results for 2020, reporting largely flat net revenue of €9.71 billion (-0.9%) and a dip of -6.4% in organic growth for the year.

EBITDA fell -3.9% to €2.16 billion and Publicis ended the year with an operating margin of €1.56 billion (-6.1%), with Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun, hailing the “solid performance” of the holding company “in the tough context of 2020”.

Publics Group 2020 Global Financials [click to enlarge]

“We outperformed the industry average in this year of exceptional crises by delivering a published growth of -0.9% in 2020 and organic growth at -6.3% for the year, with a Q4 ahead of market and our expectations at -3.9%,” he said.

“This is the result of our ability to capture the shift in our clients’ investment towards digital channels, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer, which intensified throughout the year.”

Around 6,000 managers across the Publicis Groupe made voluntary salary sacrifices during the pandemic, and Sadoun revealed that this money has now been repaid.

“When we saw at the beginning of the crisis how devastating the pandemic could be, we quickly acted to redefine our plans.

“Thanks to the collective and extraordinary performance of our people in these difficult times, we have been able to post results that are above industry averages, allowing us to repay the salary sacrifice and set aside a higher bonus pool to fairly reward and recognize our teams.

Sadoun made special note of the “sustainability” of the performance, and thanked the sacrifice made by Publicis employees during the global pandemic.

“I’d like to thank everyone in the group for their incredible efforts and our clients for their confidence and partnership.”

In the Asia Pacific region Publicis Groupe reported net revenue of €932 million (approximately A$1.5 billion), down from €1.006 billion (approximately A$1.59 billion) the prior year. That was a -7.4% decrease on a reported basis and -6.7% on an organic basis.

Publicis Revenue By Region [click to enlarge]

Sadoun said the world will continue to be “marked by the social and the economic effects of the pandemic” into 2021.

“It is clear now that the crisis did not end with 2020. So we are going into this new year with a renewed fighting spirit, ready to double down on our efforts to keep our people safe, make our clients win in a platform world and continue to improve our efficiency,” he said.

“Our transformation helped us stand strong in the storm of the past year.

“We are clear-sighted about the challenges that lie ahead, but thanks to our assets, our model, our people, and the trust of our clients, we are confident that we will emerge from this crisis as a stronger company.”


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