Paris-headquartered advertising holding company Publicis Groupe on Thursday announced strong revenue growth in the half-year to June 30, plus a 50% increase in net profits.

The latter rose to €195 million ($248.3m; £133.3m), up year-on-year from €130 million. The results were further boosted by a drop in financial costs to €32 million from €45 million, and a tax rate down to 31% from 33%.

Revenue rose 9.8% to €2.12 billion, while organic revenue growth (growth excluding currency fluctuation and acquisitions) was 6.8% in the first half and 7.3% in the second quarter.

Crowed chairman/ceo Maurice Lévy: "Our growth prospects remain very satisfactory, and we stand by our full-year targets." He pointed to an improved second quarter in Europe, boosted by new business and organic revenue growth of 6.3%, versus 5.4% a year ago.

"Buoyant trends" continued in North America, with organic revenue growth of 6.5% - although this was down from 7.3% a year earlier.

The Asia-Pacific region also recorded a slowing in growth, with organic revenue growth at just 3.8% compared with 13.5% in the same period last year. Organic revenue growth in Africa and the Middle East, however, soared to 51.9%.

On the Paris bourse, Publicis shares rose 6.1% to €29.81.

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