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Digital ad demand helps Publicis hike 2021 growth outlook

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  • Q3 underlying gross sales up 11.2%
  • Beats market consensus of seven.8%
  • Sees 2021 natural growth between 8.5% and 9%
  • Europe returns to pre-pandemic ranges, U.S., Asia above

Oct 14 (Reuters) – French promoting group Publicis (PUBP.PA) raised its outlook for 2021 on Thursday as a world shift in direction of digital media and e-commence helped its third-quarter natural growth exceed market expectations.

Demand for digital promoting helped Publicis, which has sought to draw new prospects by promising focused campaigns primarily based on massive swimming pools of knowledge, return to natural growth this yr for the primary time since earlier than the coronavirus pandemic.

Publicis, house to ad companies resembling Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, mentioned it had additionally benefited from new enterprise wins through the third quarter, together with Walmart (WMT.N) and Planet Fitness (PLNT.N).

The world’s third-largest promoting group behind Britain’s WPP (WPP.L) and U.S.-based Omnicom (OMC.N) now expects natural growth of 8.5% to 9% this yr, up from a earlier 7% forecast.

“The continued outperformance of our data and tech capabilities once again demonstrated our ability to capture a disproportionate share of the shift in client investment towards digital media, commerce and DTC (direct-to-consumer),” Chief Executive Arthur Sadoun mentioned in an announcement.

Its digital enterprise Sapient reported 20% natural growth within the United States, which is Publicis’ greatest market and the supply of greater than half of its revenues, with information firm Epsilon 13% above final yr’s stage.

“Epsilon’s potential for development outside the U.S. is very interesting,” Sadoun informed reporters when requested concerning the unit’s dependency on its house market.

“We have a small base today (internationally), between 5 and 8% of revenues … but this base is already growing at 40% over the first nine months.”

Underlying gross sales within the United States grew by 10.9% within the quarter, whereas Asia-Pacific posted 12.5% growth. Sales in Europe rose by 10% from final yr and regained pre-pandemic ranges.

At group stage, underlying gross sales rose by 11.2% to 2.6 billion euros ($3 billion) within the third quarter in contrast with the identical interval final yr, and exceeded 2019 ranges by 5%.

Analysts had anticipated natural growth of seven.8% for the quarter, a company-provided consensus forecast confirmed.

($1 = 0.8643 euros)

Reporting by Milla Nissi and Valentine Baldassari in Gdansk; Editing by Alexander Smith

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