The global advertising giant Publicis Groupe has said it expects growth for 2016 to be “modest” and that it would be a “transition year as it focuses on an internal reorganisation of its operations and continues to integrate the acquisition of Sapient, the US digital agency it acquired in 2015.
The group reported that revenues for 2015 rose by 32.3% to €9.6 billion while net income rose by 25% for the year to €901 million. Organic growth, however, was a modest 1.5%.
“2015 was a particularly busy year, especially with the integration of Sapient since the closing of the deal on February 6, 2015, the major repurposing process, the work stream on the Groupe’s transformation, not to mention the numerous media accounts up for review,” says Maurice Lévy, chairman of the group which includes brands such as Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia, Sapient, Digitas, Razorfish, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Worldwide and Leo Burnett.
“Under these circumstances, the Groupe’s performance was particularly good, in part thanks to the boost provided by acquisitions and exchange rates. The Groupe’s revenue grew by 32% (+19% before the favourable impact of exchange rates), and the operating margin reached 15.5% despite the dilutive effect of acquisitions and high restructuring costs. Net income rose 25%,” said Lévy.
In December, Publicis announced its plans to implement sweeping changes in its global business by calling time on the traditional silo-type structure of communications groups. The reorganisation will see the creation of four “Solutions Hubs” with a view to putting its clients at the heart of its organization. In the Top 20 countries, the Top 50 clients will each be accompanied by a chief client officer and these will report to a chief revenue officer. The four hubs Publicis Communications provide creative solutions while media solutions will be provided through Publicis Media with digital solutions, which accounted for 52% of group revenues in 2015, coming from from Publicis.Sapient. Healthcare solutions, meanwhile, will be provided by Publicis Health. For all other countries, a single structure called Publicis ONE will combine all of these solutions (creative, media, digital, healthcare) in each country.