After stumbling over the past few quarters, organic growth in North America was back in positive territory in 2Q 2017 (+0.2%) though it still remained negative for the first six months of 2017 (-2.4%) as a result of account losses and the fact that more recent account wins have yet to contribute to the bottom line.
It says the momentum of accounts won has been good such as P&G in the United Kingdom; eBay in France; Singtel in Singapore, and Marriott, KFC, Lowe's and Mattel in the US. Clients are increasingly challenged for top-line growth. Four concrete measures have been taken for this goal: "make our model a reality for all of our clients, leverage our competitive advantage in technology and consulting, simplify our organisational structures for greater efficiency; design a culture that attracts and retains the best talents".
Publicis was hit by account losses in its USA business during the first quarter, which darkened the outlook for its first half and full year performance while helping to push the shares to a year to date loss for much of the last three months.
There is still a lot to be done, says Sadoun.
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He said improving organic growth is its number one imperative as organic growth is "the key metric of the industry" as it demonstrates Publicis' attractiveness in the market.
Publicis (PUBGY) shares rose Thursday after advertising and media agency said it returned to growth in the second quarter, aided by a recovery in its USA business, and offering a possible insight into the likely performance of Omnicom (OMC) which reports quarterly numbers before the opening bell.
New CEO Arthur Sadoun (who'll no doubt be appearing on YouTube soon) says: "When it comes to the outlook for the year, we expect the sequential improvement in organic growth to continue in the third quarter". However, it fell 3.3 percent in APAC. The Middle East & Africa region reported revenue was up 6.2% with organic growth of 0.8%. Revenue was up 0.9%.
The fall was in part due to currency exchange rates and a fall in acquisition revenue.
Net income for the half year was US$570.4 million - an increase of 4.8%.
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