World number five agency holding company Publicis Groupe reported Tuesday a four percent increase in Q1 organic revenues. Total revenues hit €887 million ($1.14bn; £604.58m).

Chairman/ceo Maurice Lévy was in bullish mode, expressing confidence that Publicis will better its targeted 15% operating profit margin this fiscal. His belief is founded on gains in efficiency and the group's success in winning localized new business.

Says Lévy: "We are, as always, active in local new business, which is one of our strengths. Local business is slightly better paid than international business."

Despite the recent sniffiness of rivals Interpublic and Omnicom over the real-world value of new business wins [WAMN: 28-Apr-05], Lévy flaunted it from the rooftops. Q1, he said, saw the influx of $1.5 billion in new business, following on from an even more robust $1.8bn in Q4 2004.

Like-for-like revenues in the first quarter rose 1.8% in Europe, 4.8% in North America, 7% in Asia-Pacific, 4.2% in Latin America and 13.7% in the rest of the world.

A jubilant Lévy rubbed his hands: "All in all, things are going extremely well. We believe that for the full year we should post organic growth that should be ahead of the market average."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff