Despite disquieting portents from some quarters of the globe, the chairman/ceo of Publicis Groupe remains bullish about world advertising prospects in 2006.

Speaking to the press after announcing 6.2% rise in like-for-like revenues during this year's third quarter, Maurice Lévy said he remained guardedly bullish about Publicis' growth prospects next year.

"This year has been stronger than expected," he said. "I'm quite confident about next year - and the information we have today is pretty solid. For the time being, we don't see any evidence that things will turn down."

Publicis, in common with many other major European companies, does not publish profit/loss details on a quarterly basis. However, net new business during the third quarter totalled $2.1 billion (€1.74bn; £1.18bn), lifting the nine-months total to a record $8.2bn.

Overall Q3 revenues rose to €1bn, including €436m in North America, €377m in Europe, €144m in Asia, €50m in Latin America and €24m in the rest of the world.

Like-for-like revenues rose 10.1% in Asia-Pacific, 9.6% in Latin America, 7.7% in North America, 2.9% in Europe and 30.4% in the rest of the world.

Quizzed on the recent withdrawal of Publicis' $2.8bn offer for Aegis Group, Lévy reiterated his belief that the deal was "not in the best interest" of his shareholders.

It is now difficult, he says, for any outsider to buy Aegis given Vincent Bolloré's current 21.05% holding in the London-headquartered media and research company. "Mr Bolloré is becoming indispensable to any deal," Lévy opined. "I don't see how things can change in the weeks to come."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff