Publicis Posts Impressive 2023 Numbers, Forecasts 5% Organic Growth In 2024

Publicis Posts Impressive 2023 Numbers, Forecasts 5% Organic Growth In 2024

Publicis Groupe has posted its Q4 and full-year 2023 results overnight and the Paris-based holdco is now predicting upwards of five per cent organic growth in 2024, namely due to continuing strong performance across media, tech and creative.

The past 12 months saw net revenue organic growth at 6.3 per cent, thanks largely to a better-than-anticipated fourth quarter, which grew by 5.7 per cent.

Publicis Groupe said it was confident about keeping the momentum into 2024, and expected to reach four to five per cent organic growth and sustain a 18 per cent operating margin. This quarter, it said it would “significantly outperform the industry”.

Reported net revenue for 2023 was up 4.2 per cent to €13.1 billion ($A21.7 billion), while operating margin was 18 per cent (€2.4 billion or $A4 billion). Full year EBITDA was up 1.6 per cent to €2.9 billion ($A4.8 billion).

Europe was the group’s strongest performing region, up 10.3 per cent. APAC (where Australia plays) was its worst performer, up just 2.9 per cent. North America, which accounts for 60 per cent of revenue, grew 4.9 per cent.  Middle East and Africa were up 12.4 per cent, Latin America was up 8.9 per cent and China returned to growth, up four per cent in Q4.

Highlights included:

  • Full year 2023 net revenue organic growth at +6.3 per cent with stronger than expected Q4 at +5.7 per cent
  • Industry-leading financial ratios: 18 per cent operating margin rate; headline EPS up +10 per cent at €6.96; adjusted free cash flow at €1.7bn
  • #1 rank in new business over the last 5 years
  • 2023 proposed dividend at €3.40 per share, fully paid in cash
  • Confident in outperforming in 2024, despite macroeconomic challenges:
    • Organic growth expected at 4-5 per cent
    • Operating margin rate at 18 per cent
    • Free cash flow between €1.8 and €1.9bn

Arthur Sadoun (lead image), chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said of the numbers: “In a very challenging macroeconomic context, and after 6 years of transformation, Publicis definitely extracted itself from the pack in 2023.

“Our +6.3 per cent net revenue organic growth for the full year, coming after a stronger than expected end to the year at +5.7 per cent in Q4, means that not only are we substantially outperforming our holding company peers, we are also growing twice as fast as the main IT consulting firms.

“What is true for organic growth is also true for our financial KPIs, be it on margin or on free cash flow.

“At a moment when our clients need partners that can truly help them transform in a challenging and ever-changing environment, our unique model has made the difference, allowing us to significantly gain market share and rank first in new business for the fifth year in a row.

“With a reported revenue of close to 15 billion euros in 2023, up 35 per cent versus 2019, Publicis has firmly established itself as our industry’s second largest player and the first in terms of market capitalisation.

“Entering 2024, we feel confident in sustaining this momentum, just as we’ve done for the last four years with a +4.7 per cent CAGR, twice the industry average. We anticipate delivering 4-5 per cent organic growth while maintaining our historically high operating margin at 18 per cent. When it comes to Q1, we expect to significantly outperform the industry with an organic growth within our full year guidance.

“I would like to thank of our clients for their trust during this transformation journey and our people for their outstanding efforts. Thanks to all of them, we have reached new heights as a group, and are now in a position to face what will be another year of uncertainties with confidence and ambition,” Sadoun said.




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Arthur Sadoun Publicis Groupe

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