Publicis Groupe's revenue rose 11.2% in the third quarter on an organic basis, boosted by some major new business wins and the strong performance of Epsilon and Publicis Sapient in the U.S., leading the holding company to raise its forecast for the full year.
In results that exceed analyst expectations, Publicis' biggest markets all reported double-digit organic revenue growth, with the U.S. growing at 10.9%, Europe at 10% and Asia at 12.5%. Publicis, like many companies, reports organic results, which strip out the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and currency fluctuations. Net revenue rose 11.9% to 2,621 million euros, up from 2,343 million euros a year earlier, Publicis reported.
The latest quarterly revenue figures demonstrated not only recovery from the pandemic, but significant increases over pre-pandemic levels recorded in the third quarter of 2019. Publicis now anticipates organic revenue growth of 8.5% to 9% this year, up from a July forecast calling for 7% growth, and implying organic growth of about 2% over 2019. Publicis also revised its operating margin target upwards to more than 17% for the year.
New business success
In the U.S., Publicis stated that its operations benefited from "continued strength in demand for first-party data management, direct-to-consumer and digital," with Epsilon and Publicis Sapient recording revenue increases of 13% and 20%, respectively.
Speaking to Ad Age, Arthur Sadoun, CEO and chairman of Publicis Groupe, added that Epsilon grew 40% outside the U.S., but from a smaller base. When it comes to data management, Sadoun stressed the importance of preparing Publicis Groupe clients for the deprecation of third-party cookies. “We are really focusing on building a unique product, service and offer. We are getting ready for the cookieless world; this is a priority for us.”“We have truly consolidated the foundation of our model,” he added. “Whatever the pitch, media, data or technology, it is making a big difference.”
Sadoun stressed the importance of "needing to stay very agile in looking at our client product profile. We are seeing our clients adapting and evolving. If I want to be optimistic, the last crisis has shown the ability of our clients and ourselves to react.”