Publicis sees organic growth dip, but beats analyst expectations

The holding co also expects margins to approve in the second half of the year.

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Publicis Groupe has unveiled the results for its second quarter of 2020, the holding co’s first full quarter to encompass the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group’s organic growth shrank by 13% in the face of the pandemic, to 2.29 billion Euros (equivalent to approximately CAD $3.57 billion). All together, organic growth was down 8% for the first half of the fiscal year.

While that represents a 13% decrease in organic growth in one quarter, it’s significantly less than the average 20% decrease predicted by analysts prior to the results – causing the holding co’s stock price to shoot up 12%, to USD $30.10 per share. As of press time, Publicis’ share price sits at $29.45. While the price still pales in comparison to Publicis’ pre-pandemic stock price of $41.75 per share, the price is nearly 50% higher than its mid-March low point.

North America remains Publicis Groupe’s biggest region in terms of revenue – its revenue fell by 7.6%, which is one third of the fall seen in Europe (where lockdowns were, by and large, much stricter than those in the U.S. and Canada). Specifically, U.S. revenues were down 6.8%. North America is also where many of Publicis Groupe’s new business wins from 2019 are situated, including Walt Disney Co, Bank of America and pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

It also stated that its creative and media activity were “still positive” by the end of May.

In April, Publicis committed to cutting $500 million from its operating budget, of which it has already cut $286 million.

Like most companies this quarter, Publicis will not release forward-looking guidance for the coming quarters. The holding co has, however, said that it predicts operating margins will improve in the second half of the year.

From Media in Canada