Publicis to outpace industry growth in 2011

Tuesday, 28 June 2011 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Publicis expects its revenue to grow well above the 4.2 percent average forecast for the advertising industry in 2011 following an estimated 6.5 percent rise in the first half of the year, its chief executive said.

“We said we will deliver circa 6.5 percent for the first half ... Will it be 6.3, 6.6 I don’t know but we will be between 6.3 and 6.6,” Maurice Levy told Reuters on the sidelines of the President’s Conference in Jerusalem.

“Regarding the full year we do not have yet a clear indication to give to the market because things are changing regularly and we are giving the indication that we will do much better than what analysts are expecting for the full industry.”

Levy also said Publicis, the world’s third-largest advertising group, does not plan any significant acquisitions in the United States following its deal to buy U.S. marketing group Rosetta, saying the company has “completed what we wanted to do in the US”

It follows Publicis’ previous U.S. takeovers of Razorfish in 2008 and Digitas in 2006.

But the company expects to grow its digital business in emerging and developed markets and is looking for acquisitions to enhance its position in that field.

“That is something which is well underway. We are number one in the world in digital and we want to make that position rock solid,” he said.

Publicis is seeking to grow in emerging markets following its purchase of Genedigi, the largest independent public relations agency in China, which he called a “game changing position” for the company.

Publicis is in talks regarding several potential acquisitions in China as well as talks in India, Russia and Brazil, where it made three acquisitions in the last 12 months.

The company also has plans for countries such as Turkey and Indonesia, among others.

“We don’t plan for the time being any other major acquisition,” he said. “We consider that we can grow organically on our strength and we can expect to grow nicely over the market and to outperform the market in the next two to three years.”

He said there were no opportunities for sizeable acquisitions in markets such as Russia and Brazil.

Publicis is interested in growing its digital, public relations, healthcare and traditional advertising businesses in emerging markets but in developed countries it is looking only for digital opportunities.

Digital advertising accounted for 28 percent of the company’s revenue last year and Levy expects this to reach about 30 percent at the end of 2011.

“I think that in 2012 we will be above 30 percent and we will see an acceleration of our growth so I feel confident that in 2014 we will be at 35 percent, which we indicated.”