PARIS: Publicis Groupe has reported that its first-half net profit dropped to €192 million ($301m; £150.9m) euros from €198m, while total sales fell to €2.226bn billion from €2.248bn.

The French-headquartered advertising conglomerate said the weakness of the US dollar had contributed to the slide in profits, the first since 2006.

However, organic sales rose 5.4% during H1, beating analysts' expectations.

The increase was across all areas including the US, but Publicis said it expected marketing investments in sectors such as automotive and financial to fall, due to the credit squeeze and rising commodity and food prices.

Chairman Maurice Lévy was confident, nonetheless, that the company's second-half figures would stand up to global economic turmoil.

He said: "In a somewhat depressed world economy, and against a backdrop of financial unease, we have every reason to believe that we can better resist by virtue of our strong positions in high-growth markets and sectors."

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff