PARIS: Publicis Groupe, the marketing services group, reported a 1.1% decline in net profits to €447 million ($581m; £403m) in 2008, with a 0.7% increase in revenues to €4.7bn being offset by one-off impairments and the closure of its online TV–retail hybrid Honeyshed.

According to the company's figures, organic growth for the year was 3.8%, slowing to 1.1% in the fourth quarter, while its operating margin reached a record level of 16.7%.

These results come one day after Omnicom Group posted its own full-year figures, which showed higher growth year-on-year, but also saw the company register a 13.7% decline in income in Q4. 

Operating profits also increased by 0.8% to €785 million in 2008, largely down to tight cost controls.

North America was the only region where the organisation posted a decline in revenues (–0.4%), with the biggest gains being made in Africa and the Middle East (+14.6%) and Asia Pacific (+3.3%).

A breakdown of the company's consolidated revenues showed that 38% of revenues came from advertising, 36% from "specialised agencies and marketing services", and 26% from media. 

While not providing any forecasts, Maurice Lévy, the company's ceo/chairman, was optimistic opportunities would arise to boost growth in 2009.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff