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Publicis Raises Full-Year Revenue Forecast After Third-Quarter Growth

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Publicis Groupe SA

boosted its outlook for 2021 organic revenue growth thanks to strong demand for digital marketing services in the third quarter.

The Paris-based advertising company, which owns agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Spark Foundry, said it expects organic revenue to grow 8.5% to 9% in 2021 from the previous year, up from an earlier forecast of 7% growth. Organic revenue growth is a common metric that strips out the effects of currency fluctuations, acquisitions and disposals.

Publicis nudged up its projected operating margin to slightly above 17% from an even 17%.

The company reported an 11% increase in organic growth for the third quarter. Chief Executive

Arthur Sadoun

said in a statement that the Publicis has recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that organic revenue in the third quarter was 5% higher than in the comparable period in 2019.

Third-quarter organic revenue was up from a year earlier by 11% in the U.S., 13% in the Asia-Pacific region and 10% in Europe. When compared with two years earlier, before the pandemic, third-quarter organic revenue was up by 8% in the U.S. and 2% in the Asia-Pacific region, while remaining flat in Europe.

The company said its data and technology capabilities in the third quarter benefited from clients’ investment in digital media, commerce and direct-to-consumer efforts, especially in the U.S.

In the U.S., third-quarter organic revenue grew 13% at marketing agency Epsilon and 20% at technology and digital marketing firm Publicis Sapient.

The results show continued momentum for Publicis as well as the marketing and advertising industry, which faced disruption during the pandemic as clients first paused spending, then had to navigate fluctuating conditions.

Most brands have resumed their marketing activities, albeit often with more emphasis on digital media and data and analytics to better understand and reach consumers.

For the second quarter, Publicis had reported a 17% increase in organic revenue.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at [email protected]

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