Publicis Groupe reported a strong second quarter with organic growth of 17.1%, becoming the third major holding company to rebound from weak results posted in the depths of the pandemic a year ago.
Publicis delivered robust U.S. and Asia Pacific organic growth along with a big bounce back in Europe, which had a weak first quarter. The U.S. scored 15.2% organic growth. Asia Pacific saw 13.6% organic growth while Europe's organic growth surged 23.0%.
Organic growth is a key financial measure that factors out acquisitions, divestitures and effects of exchange rates.
This has all added to a full recovery from last year, says Chairman-CEO Arthur Sadoun.
“Not only did we fully recover the revenue lost in 2020, but all of our KPIs”—key performance indicators—“over the first half exceeded 2019 levels,” Sadoun said. The U.S. and Asia Pacific, in particular, recorded 7% organic growth in second quarter 2021 when compared to 2019. The company's worldwide organic growth came in at 2% in the second quarter when compared to 2019.
Publicis’ net revenue in the second quarter was €2.5 billion ($3.1 billion) compared to €2.3 billion in the second quarter of 2020.
The company attributes all regions posting double-digit organic growth to two factors. First was the continued global recovery from the pandemic including mass re-openings in Europe and a continued uplift in the U.S. economy. Second is Publicis’ Power of One model that “enabled the Groupe to continue to capture the ongoing shift in clients’ investment toward data management, digital media, direct-to-consumer channels and commerce in general.”
Due to the holding company’s ability to “capture a disproportionate part” of its clients’ investment in data and technology, Publicis now expects to fully recover its 2020 organic decline of -6.3%, one year ahead of its initial expectations, with full-year 2021 organic growth of about 7% and operating margin of about 17%, “provided there are no major deteriorations in the global sanitary situation,” Sadoun said.