Publicis surges into 2022 with 10.5% Q1 growth

Publicis Groupe has continued the good work of 2021 into 2022 with Q1 net revenue of €2.8m, up 17.1%, and organic growth of 10.5%, in line with 2021.

By region North America grew 8.1%, Europe 14.9%, Asia Pacific 14.4%, Middle East and Africa 13.4% and Latin America 13.1%. Nonetheless the company is sticking to its guidance for the year of growth of between 4 and 5%, suggesting it thinks the ad bounceback from the pandemic will slow.

CEO Arthur Sadoun (above)c says: “We started the year very strongly, both financially and commercially. Our organic growth for the quarter came well above expectations at +10.5%, versus +2.8% for the same period last year.

“Our model is going from strength to strength, as it continues to capture rising client demand for first-party data, digital media and commerce. This is particularly true in business transformation, where Publicis Sapient saw strong acceleration this quarter and grew +18% globally.

“All of our regions performed well. The organic growth of the U.S. at +8% confirms the country’s continued dynamic with a good performance of Epsilon at its core. Europe posted robust recovery at +15% organic growth, fueled by France and the U.K. Meanwhile, in Asia, we also delivered very solid numbers, with +14% organically and double-digit growth once again in China.

We are confident in our ability to deliver on all of the objectives we set for the year and actually come in at the upper end of our organic growth target, despite the uncertainty caused by the global health situation, the evolution of the conflict in Ukraine, and the consequences of inflation for our clients.

“The best proof of the uniqueness and attractiveness of our offer is our new business performance. After topping all of the new business rankings in 2021, we are confirming our momentum with significant wins last quarter like McDonald’s, Singapore Tourism Board, Siemens, Etisalat, LVMH, Pepsi and the largest pitch of the year so far, AB InBev, to name just a few.”

Publicis has undoubtedly reacted decisively to the changed digital-based ad landscape, arguably in the best position of all the ad holding groups although the others (yet to report Q1) would doubtless disagree.

If growth comes in at these levels across the board all the companies will face a more testing future as investors looks for consistent returns well above the 4-5% level.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.