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Consumer goods ad spend slowdown keeps organic growth down at Publicis

Publicis Groupe has posted revenue growth of just 1.6 per cent for the first quarter of 2017 with the company saying it is receiving “‘faint but encouraging signals” for the future.

Publicis reported revenue of €2.328bn with Asia Pacific reporting €243m, up 5.7 per cent on the previous quarter.

Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy said the outlook was cautious for the company which includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Marcel, Zenith and Starcom.

“Our first quarter figures send out faint but encouraging signals as to the Groupe’s situation,” Levy said.

Maurice Levy

“Although organic growth is slightly negative at -1.2 per cent, this is an improvement on the fourth quarter of 2016. We expect Q2 to remain in negative territory, but to show an improvement compared with the first quarter.”

He said that the global economy was having an impact on the outlook of clients which was reflected in the results.

“Instability continues to prevail in the international environment, causing companies to proceed with great caution despite strong balance sheets,” he said.

“Changes in the field of technology, in consumer behaviour and in the media landscape have led companies to question their business models and marketing strategies.”

Levy said the coming together of Sapient and Razorfish was already bearing fruit in terms of new business.

“The second half of 2017 should see the Groupe posting a more usual level of growth and I have every confidence in our ability to achieve our 2018 objectives.  The cash we generate enables us to improve the return to shareholders while managing our debt responsibly.”

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