Failed POG merger hurts Publicis's performance

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 24 October 2014
Publicis Groupe's Maurice Levy passes the time during a pause in his end of year message.

Publicis has blamed the failed merger with Omnicom for its poor business performance in its third quarter results.
The French network, led by Maurice Levy, posted organic growth rate of 1% and told investors it is simply not good enough, but added that there wasn't any short-term relief on the horizon.

Publicis outlined revenue of 1.75 billion Euro for the latest quarter, with total growth of 4.4% year on year.

However the growth included the effects of mergers and acquisitions, not growth from within the business, Levy said.
Publicis said the European region dragged down the overall result, declining 0.5%, but also pointed to difficulty in emerging markets as an ongoing problem.

Growth was down 1.8% in the rest of the world market, which includes Australia.

Chairman and CEO Levy said the poor result was a reflection on management's focus on longer-term goals rather than the short-term health of the company.

"There are a number of factors behind this [poor performance], mainly the fact that management was too focused on other plans and not enough on the short-term performance and growth," he told investors.

"The end of this year will not be very different from the first nine months, but we are confident in our ability to deliver a good level of profitability and are working on our 2018 plan that will soon be presented to investors.”

However, he also pointed to the growth in digital as a signpost toward the future. Levy said digital now accounts for 42% of its revenue.

The merger, had it been successful, would have meant the formation of the largest media and advertising network in the world, overtaking Sir martin Sorrell's WPP. The deal however fell apart in May this year as the two sides were unable to hash out details of the “merger of equals”.

More news on Publicis and Omnicom below:

Friday Fun: Publicis Omnicom merger was a stunt

Publicis Omnicom merger called off
Publicis-Omnicom confirm merger to create world's biggest advertising company

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