Publicis Groupe on Tuesday unveiled its first half results which, before amortization of goodwill, soared 49% year-on-year to almost $126 million (€112.18m; £79.04m).

Prime contributors to this increase are the agencies of the former Bcom3 Group, notably Leo Burnett, ingested by Publicis last summer.

Aggregated Publicis revenues during the period rose 59% to $2.1 billion, although organic growth was flat. Net earnings per share, before amortization of goodwill, climbed 16% and year-on-year operating margin rose from 12.9% to 13.3%.

Operating margin should, predicted ceo Maurice Levy, reach 15% in the second half-year. “Barring unforeseen circumstances,” he said, “we should be able to achieve 15% operating margin during the second half of 2003. Our objectives will then be to consolidate this level for the entire year of 2004.”

Meantime, cash would be king. “We are also working actively on cash management and on our balance sheet. That is a priority ... we have set for ourselves following the important resources used for the integration of Bcom3,” Levy promised.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff