Dentsu keeps growth on track ahead of 2020 restructure aimed at a ‘more open organisational culture.’

Dentsu Inc has reported strong results for 2018 so far, with organic revenue growth of 4.5 per cent across the first half of the year and 4.9 per cent in the second quarter.

The Japan-based holding company’s numbers are boosted by its good new business record over the last year.

Thanks to wins including AB InBev and Subway in the US, and American Express globally, Dentsu topped the 2017 Recma new business rankings. This year the run has continued with Gore-Tex global media in April and the majority of Estée Lauder’s EMEA media account in June. Crucially the network held on to Microsoft’s $1.5 billion global media business in May.

Dentsu’s financials are pretty impenetrable, but they claim that North America, led by former McCann global boss Nick Brien, is showing the strongest results for 13 quarters, with organic growth of 5.5 per cent organic growth in the first half, and 6.2 per cent in the second quarter.

Dentsu has also announced proposed changes to its corporate structure in January 2020, including a long overdue simplification of the current set-up, which separates out the Japan-based businesses (Dentsu) from the rest of the world (Dentsu Aegis Network) whose agencies include agencies include Carat, Dentsu, iProspect, Isobar, McGarryBowen, Merkle, Vizeum and Gyro.

The new structure will foster a more “open organisational culture,” which is presumably about westernizing the business to some degree, as well as addressing the network’s overwork problems that were blamed for an employee’s suicide in a court case last year.

Buhlmann (pictured) says: “Q2 represents the fourth consecutive quarter of improving organic growth and contributed to a resilient performance across H1 2018. A tailwind of good new business, strong retention of key clients and a competitive product across our portfolio of network brands is ensuring continued momentum.”

The solid performance will help to keep up speculation that Buhlmann could be in line to replace Martin Sorrell as CEO of WPP. Buhlmann has been running DAN for five years now, and has been with the group, one way or another, for decades. Maybe Dentsu’s restructure is a way of keeping him on board.

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