Paris-headquartered ad giant Publicis Groupe has unveiled year-on-year growth in billings for the first quarter.

Excluding last year’s acquisitions of Saatchi & Saatchi and Nelson Communications [WAMN: 20-Jun-00; 14-Nov-00], the group saw billings rise 8.2% between Q1 2000 and this year’s first quarter. If these recent additions are included, the growth in billings stands at 78.3%, with a total of $3.13 billion.

The last year has also seen the balance of Publicis’ business swing towards North America – between Q1 2000 and 2001, the billings garnered in Europe fell from 48% of the total to 38%, while those across the Atlantic jumped from 40.8% to 49.5%.

Publicis added that its agencies won $700 million in new billings in the first quarter. Account gains include the US duties for Siemens (to Publicis Worldwide), American Airline’s UK account (to Fallon Worldwide) and the Sudameris bank in Brazil (to Saatchi & Saatchi).

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline