Paris-headquartered Publicis Groupe, the world's fourth largest agency holding company, saw its first-quarter revenues dragged down by the politically enfeebled US dollar.

Taking currency fluctuations into account, gross income fell 4.3% to $1.1 billion (€909.84m; £613.12m). But organic growth -- excluding exchange rate volatility -- rose by 4.4%

Over $1 billion in net new business was gained during the quarter, around 40% of which reflects growth in advertising and marketing services. Sixty percent, however, accrued from media buying and planning

Speaking from the Olympian environs of his Champs Élysées office suite, Publicis chairman/ceo Maurice Levy assured the group is on course to hit its targeted operating margin of 15% for the full year.

But he fine-tuned his 2004 growth expectations to just above 3%, having earlier predicted between 2.5%-3.5%. "The U.S. will be solid. Growth will come from Europe, Asia, Latin America," said Levy.

"In Europe I think we'll start to see recovery in France and Germany, which will help since they are such large markets."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff