Publicis says advertising profits on the rise

18th July 2013, Comments 0 comments

Advertising group Publicis signalled cautiously that business was looking up in a statement on Thursday reporting a 15.0-percent rise in net profit in the first half of the year.

Advertising is strongly sensitive to the business climate and Publicis, a leader in the sector, said it was confident for the outlook for the year and raised slightly its outlook for growth.

In the first half, net profit totalled 314 million euros ($412 million), despite a difficult trading climate, the company reported.

However, sales in the first half rose by 8.7 percent from the equivalent figure a year ago to 3.35 billion euros.

The price of shares in the group was showing a gain of 3.16 percent to 59.68 euros in mid-day trading. The French stock market as measured by the CAC 40 index was up 0.37 percent.

Chief executive Maurice Levy said that the company had revised up slightly its outlook for internal profit growth this year to 3.6 percent from 3.2-3.6 percent.

"There was a strong acceleration of growth in the second quarter, by five percent, which is quite spectacular, and we are well ahead of our internal targets," Levy said. "The operating margin rose by 0.4 percentage points to 13.8 percent, which is also above our expectations."

He said: "We have good results but this was not easy. We are in quite a bad economic context, with downward revisions for world growth, a lot of uncertainty and growth which is faltering somewhat in emerging economies."

Levy said: "We have to be very cautious even though we are confident. We still think that we will see a modest improvement of our margin in 2013."

At investment firm Citi, analysts commented: "The key for investors, in our view, is to make the difference between the trend, which is clearly positive, and what is likely to be the outcome regarding the annual forecasts which doesn't amount to much.

"In this context, even though these are good results, we don't think they are enough to merit an upgrading of the share price."

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© 2013 AFP

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