Publicis PR firms see 6% first-quarter growth

PARIS: Publicis Groupe's PR firms saw organic growth of 6% year-over-year in the first quarter, said Olivier Fleurot, CEO of MSLGroup.

PARIS: Publicis Groupe's PR firms saw organic growth of 6% year-over-year in the first quarter, said Olivier Fleurot, CEO of MSLGroup.

The holding company's PR agencies include SchwartzMSL, which it acquired last September, as well as Kekst & Company, Publicis Consultants, and PBJS. Those firms operate under the MSLGroup umbrella.

The holding company reported $1.91 billion in overall first-quarter revenue, representing 4.1% organic growth compared with the prior year. Total sales in Q1 went up 13% year-over-year.  

Organic growth represents change in revenue without measuring the impact of acquisitions or disposals.

“The strongest growth comes from Asia, where we are between 15% and 20%,” said Fleurot. “When I look at the pipeline, I see good things…I think it's going to pick up in France, and I think in the US, it's rather positive. Slowly, but surely, it looks like things are improving.”

Publicis earned 19% of its first-quarter revenue from its SAMS unit, which includes PR agencies such as MSLGroup, the VivaKi digital unit, and healthcare firms, compared with 21% in the same period of 2011. Digital made up 33% of the group's Q1 revenue, up 15.6% organically. The company did not report net profit or loss for the quarter.

The holding company saw $950.8 million in North American revenue in Q1, representing 3.3% organic growth compared with Q1 2011. Organic growth in Europe was 3.6%, while organic growth in the BRIC region was 10%, respectively.

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