Publicis Groupe has reported a “full recovery with all KPIs exceeding 2019 levels” in its half-yearly numbers.
Second quarter organic growth was 17.1 per cent against a fall of 13 per cent last year. The holding company’s US revenues were up 15.2 per cent, Europe rebounded a staggering 23 per cent and Asia enjoyed a 9.7 per cent uptick.
• Q2 organic growth at +17.1 per cent, more than recovering vs. Q2 2020 at -13.0 per cent
• New acceleration in the U.S. at +15.2 per cent, with Epsilon at +31.1 per cent and Publicis Sapient at +27 per cent
• Continued momentum in Asia at +13.6 per cent, Europe rebounding at +23 per cent U.S. and Asia at +7 per cent organic growth vs. 2019
• Organic growth at +9.7 per cent vs. -8.per cent in first of half of 2020
• All-time high operating margin rate at 16.5 per cent in a first-half
• Growth of +27 per cent in headline EPS at €2.23 and +22 per cent in Free Cash Flow1 at €605m
• Number one in rankings for new business
• Upgrade of all 2021 guidance KPIs with full recovery expected in one year instead of two: organic growth at seven per cent, operating margin rate at 17 per cent, free cash flow between €1.2 billion and €1.3 billion
Commenting on the favourable outcomes, Arthur Sadoun (main photo), chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe said: “In the first half of the year, we had a very strong performance thanks to our model in an improving business environment.
“Not only did we fully recover the revenue lost in 2020, but all of our KPIs over the first half exceeded 2019 levels.
“In Q2, we posted +17.1 per cent organic growth, improving by two per cent compared to 2019, despite the effects of the pandemic.
“This overperformance was largely driven by the US and Asia, which both grew by seven per cent versus 2019.
“Our US operations posted 15.2 per cent organic growth in Q2, with Epsilon, PMX and Sapient all delivering above 25 per cent. Asia also accelerated further with +13.6 per cent organic growth. Europe rebounded from a low base to +23 per cent, mirroring the progressive lifting of lockdowns.
“In H1 overall, we posted organic growth of 9.7 per cent, leading to an operating margin rate at 16.5 per cent, the group’s highest ever for a first half period, while our free cash flow up 22 per cent, at €605 million.
“What is more, we once again topped new business rankings for the first half of the year, thanks to a strong run of wins.
“For the remaining part of the year, our ability to capture a disproportionate part of our clients’ investment in data and technology means we are in a position to upgrade our 2021 guidance. We now expect to totally recover to pre-pandemic levels, a year ahead of our initial expectations, with full year organic growth at seven per cent and full recovery in H2, and an operating margin of 17 per cent, provided there are no major deteriorations in the global sanitary situation.
“I’d like to thank our teams for their incredible efforts in this first half of the year, and our clients for their trust and partnership. In H2 we are focused on the execution of our plan, in a context that remains challenging in many parts of the world,” Sadoun said.
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