French advertiser Publicis reports profit spurt
The French group Publicis, the world's third largest advertising company, on Thursday reported a 27.5 percent jump in first half net earnings and raised its financial targets for 2010.
"We can see that at the end of the (economic) crisis, Publicis is in a better position than it was before the crisis," chief executive Maurice Levy told a press conference.
"Publicis got stronger during the crisis."
Investors welcomed results, driving up the company share price to 34.65 euros, a gain of 0.98 percent on the day.
Net earnings in the January-June period rose to 213 million euros (279 million dollars) from 167 million in first half 2009.
The performance eclipsed expectations from analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, who had foreseen net profit of 194 million euros.
Publicis said it was therefore raising its organic growth forecast this year to more than 3.5 percent from 3.0 percent. Organic growth measures growth attributable to increased output or sales rather than mergers or acquisitions.
The group said it recorded growth in the first half in all regions except Africa and the Middle East, where activity was affected by debt difficulties in the Gulf emirate Dubai.
Sales grew 7.2 percent in the United States and 3.1 percent in Europe.
Advertising on the Internet, cell phones and social networks amounted to 28.1 percent of sales in the first half against 20.7 percent a year earlier.
Levy stressed Publicis' interest in China, where it recently acquired the G4 agency, responsible for promoting food giant Nestle.
© 2010 AFP