Publicis Groupe posts strong first half growth and financial performance

Publicis more or less matched US rival Omnicom in Q2 2022, reporting organic growth of 10.3% (Omnicom was 11.3% on weaker 2021 comparatives) with the US up 10.1%, Europe 10.1% and Asia 6.5%.

The French-based business has increased its 2022 growth forecast to between 6-7% (as has Omnicom) and expects an improved operating margin of between 17.5-18%. It says it expects free cash flow of least at €1.5bn in 2022.

Once again data businesses Publicis Sapient and Epsilon were the standout performers, up 19.3% and 13.7% respectively.

CEO Arthur Sadoun (above) says: “There are three reasons behind this remarkable performance, which comes on top of +17.1% organic growth in Q2 last year. First, very solid growth across all regions, with the U.S and Europe at +10%, and Asia at +6.5%, with China remaining positive despite the lockdowns. Second, further acceleration at Publicis Sapient and Epsilon which grew +19.1% and +13.7% respectively, confirming our ability to capture the shift of client investment towards data, technology and digital business transformation.

“Last but not least, we benefitted from the ramp-up of our new business, after a record number of wins in 2021. Our momentum since the beginning of the year continues to place us at the top of the New Business rankings for the past 12 months, in the latest broker reports.”

Nobody really know what the rest of the year will bring apart from a more than tricky macro-economic environment. Publicis claims an advantage over its ad holding company rivals, saying it should be seen as a “transformation” company as opposed to communications. Although good old communications still make up the majority of its business.

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