Last summer's acquisition of Bcom3 Group saved Paris-headquartered global agency conglomerate Publicis Groupe from a profits nosedive during 2002.

Even so earnings at the world's fourth largest ad group slipped last year, posting net income of $162.4 million (€147.33m; £100.75m), down 2.6% after accounting for goodwill – or, unadjusted, up 10.2% to $261.7m.

Incorporated into the results for three months and five days trading are the operations of Bcom3. These boosted Publicis billings by 48.5% to $27.3 billion. Net new business for the year was $2.4bn.

• Separately, Publicis announced the launch of a new unit, Chemestri, solely dedicated to servicing the brands of General Motors. Built on the foundation of now defunct shop D’Arcy Detroit, Chemestri will work on marques including Cadillac and Pontiac, as well as GM Service & Parts operations and several global GM operations. Also in its remit are GM’s general marketing communications, including public relations, promotions and the internet.

Data sourced from: and BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff