The latest strategic plan by French-headquartered agency giant Publicis Groupe casts its media planning and buying units - ZenithOptimedia and Starcom Mediavest - as lead growth drivers over the next four years.

Publicis, the globe's fourth-ranked agency holding company, is aiming for an operating margin of 17% by 2008, it told investors and analysts last week. It is also on track for margins of 15% - "and possibly a bit more" - in the current calendar year.

Come 2008, chairman/ceo Maurice Levy expects the two media networks to generate between them 28% of total group revenues, while traditional advertising will contribute around 50%, with the 22% balance coming from specialist marketing services.

Expansion targets for 2005-08 are based on delivery by high-growth countries such as China, Russia and India, plus continuing growth in North America and Europe - the latter "showing the benefits of in-depth restructuring in 2003/2004."

US-sourced business currently accounts for 44% of Publicis' revenues, although this expected to decline to around 42% in 2008. Europe too will fall from 41% to 38%, while other world regions will rise by 5% to 20%.

Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff