Publicis Groupe, the world’s sixth largest agency group, expressed caution about the coming year despite unveiling a 37.5% surge in revenues for 2001, up from E1.8 billion in the previous twelve months to E2.43bn.

The group attributed the leap in turnover to the additional input of Saatchi & Saatchi, purchased in 2000. Organic growth, which excludes such acquisitions, stood at 3.1%, marginally ahead of analysts’ most optimistic expectations and far better than the 4% to 5% decline suffered by the global ad industry as a whole.

Billings were also up, jumping 41.2% globally from E11.8bn to E16.7bn, with E2.3bn net new business.

Chairman/ceo Maurice Levy said he was happy with the results given the ad downturn: “In this environment, Publicis can be proud to have achieved its goals, which meant that, even if growth looked modest compared with past performances of Publicis, it was nevertheless seven to eight percentage points of growth better than the industry overall.”

However, he warned that the coming year would also be tough, with no signs of recovery in the ad sector readily apparent. Nevertheless, he expects Publicis to again “outperform the world advertising market”.

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