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We’re the (new) leader of the pack says Sadoun as Publicis confirms 2023 numbers

French ad group positioned for major acquisition

Publicis has confirmed its place as leader of the ad holding company pack (unless we get something wholly unexpected from Interpublic and Dentsu) with 6.3% organic growth in 2023 (5.7% in Q4) as already flagged. Data business Epsilon was the stand-out performer.

Europe grew 10.3% (the UK 10.4%) with the US up 2.3%.

Just in case anyone hadn’t got the message, CEO Arthur Sadoun (above) says:

“In a very challenging macroeconomic context, and after 6 years of transformation, Publicis definitely extracted itself from the pack in 2023.

“Our +6.3% net revenue organic growth for the full year, coming after a stronger than expected end to the year at +5.7% 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.”

Interesting that Sadoun says Publicis is growing faster than the big consulting firms. With strong profits and free cash flow Publicis is in a position to make a big acquisition if it wishes. WPP? Surely not…

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