Publicis Reports Tepid Q1 Results Following Epsilon Acquisition

Publicis Reports Tepid Q1 Results Following Epsilon Acquisition
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Following its $AU6 billion acquisition of data intelligence company Epsilon, Publicis Groupe has reported a disappointing Q1 result, posting a decline of 1.6 per cent.

The holding company experienced revenue growth of 1.7 per cent to 2.1 million euros ($AU3.3 million) for the quarter, which Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said was “in line with expectations.”

The company’s largest market in North America saw an organic decline of 4.3 per cent on an adjusted basis, which Sadoun said reflected “attrition that continued to impact traditional advertising, the effect of a handful of media losses from the third quarter 2018 and a strong comparable base in [the first quarter of] 2018.”

Latin America was down 6.3 per cent organically, with Europe growing 0.7 per cent, Asia-Pacific increased by 1.2 per cent and the MEA rose 26.6 per cent.

Sadoun blamed the slow growth to “attrition” from “a handful” of the company’s fast-moving consumer goods clients.

He said: “North America net revenue has been particularly affected by this attrition that represented around 300 basis points of impact on the region performance.

“However, we believe that the pace of attrition will slow down in the second half of 2019.”

The holding company also reported it secured more new business wins than its competitors last year.

An R3 report released in January confirmed Publicis achieved the most new business revenue of $736.4 million ($AU1.026 billion) out of the big agency holding companies.

However, it appears last years growth has yet to impact on its 2019 Q1 results.

In other Publicis news, in France today, Publicis stock was up by more than 5 per cent, possibly due to its Epsilon acquisition, which seems to be serving as a distraction from its sub-par first quarter results.

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