Publicis Groupe has posted its full results for the year, showing a 2.3 per cent decline in organic growth and net revenue.
In the fourth quarter of 2019 alone, the group’s organic growth fell 4.5 per cent, yet net revenue was up 9.3 per cent for the full year to €9.8 billion ($AU15.99B).
The results included a contribution in the second half of the year from the group’s acquisition of Epsilon.
APAC net revenue was up 8.9 per cnet on a reported basis, and 0.8 per cent on an organic basis. However, Australia recorded a -7.0 per cent fall in organic net revenue. China was down -1.8 per cent, while Singapore was up 16.5 per cent and India up10.4 per cent.
The group’s share price was up by four per cent this morning when the London Stock Exchange opened.
Speaking to analysts at a briefing, CEO and chairman of Publicis Arthur Sadoun said 2019 was “a challenging year” during which the group transitioned to its “completed model”.
He said: “We acquired and integrated Epsilon. We changed Publicis Sapient’s management and repositioned its operations around business transformation through industry verticals.
“We put in place a country model to foster cross-fertilization across our expertise in creativity, media, data and technology. And while we were implementing our model, we continued to promote a new generation of leaders in strategic positions, in our most iconic brands, our biggest countries and for our top clients.
“All of these necessary changes, combined with the effects of our transition, had a negative impact on our organic growth in 2019. But our model is already delivering concrete results that make us confident for the future.
“Our model and our go-to-market demonstrate their attractiveness, as illustrated by the new business ranking: for the second year in a row, we are number one in the new business league tables.”
Sadoun said now the group had finished its transformation in terms of “assets and organization”, it is “in position to deliver what our clients really need to thrive in a world increasingly dominated by the platforms.”
He said the group’s priority in 2020 is to deliver organic growth recovery plan, and continuing to invest in talents, learning, and development to strengthen its offer.
“We have taken great steps forward in our transformation journey. We are clear on the steps ahead of us and focused on execution,” he said.