PUBLICIS, BCOM3 REPORT QUARTERLY FINANCIALS

Revenue, Earnings up for Soon-to-Be-Merged Companies

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe today reported its first-quarter revenue while its soon-to-be-acquired agency company Bcom3 Group announced its quarterly earnings.

Publicis reported first-quarter revenue of $520 million, a 4.6% increase over 2001, but factoring out acquisitions and currency fluctuations, revenue dropped 2.2%.

North America decline
North America was responsible for most of the drop, with revenues down 4.9% on an adjusted basis to $234.7 million. Revenues in Europe, Publicis' second-largest region, were flat after adjustments, at $226.6 million. Asia Pacific was up 3% to $36.1 million and the rest of the world was down 1.7% at $22.6 million.

Net new billings in

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the first quarter totaled $117.3 million, which factored in the loss of the $120 million General Motors Co.'s Saturn Corp. dealers account in the U.S.

In a statement, Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy said the company will focus on managing client accounts and costs in anticipation of its acquisition of Bcom3, which he said will close in August or September.

Improved income
Meanwhile, Bcom3 said net income improved in the first quarter, despite of a slight drop in revenue.

Net income rose to $20.5 million from $2.57 million in 2001. Factoring out $15 million in accounting charges taken in 2001, 2002 first-quarter net income would have been up 16.9%.

Revenues were down 0.3% to $445.7 million, from $447.2 million in 2001. Domestic revenue dropped 0.8% to $244.8 million from $246.8 million in 2001, but was down 4.5% after factoring out acquisitions, a drop the company attributed to decreased spending by clients.

International revenue increased 0.2% to $200.9 million from $200.4 million in 2001, but dropped 2.2% on an organic basis, also due to client spending cuts.

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