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Publicis Groupe sees full recovery in H1 2021, with KPIs exceeding 2019 levels

Publicis Groupe, which saw organic growth of 2.8% in Q1 of 2021, has seen full recovery overall in H1 2021. The group’s organic growth grew at +9.7% vis-à-vis a negative -8.0% growth in H1 2020, amid the raging pandemic hitting all markets globally.

Publicis Groupe has reported an all-time high operating margin rate at 16.5% in the first half. The group saw growth of +27% in headline EPS at €2.23 and +22% in free cash flow at €605 million.

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Publicis Groupe also achieved No. 1 rankings in new business in H1 2021.

The group saw new acceleration in the US at +15.2%, with Epsilon at +31.1% and Publicis Sapient at +27.0%.

Publicis Groupe also saw continued momentum in Asia at +13.6%, with Europe rebounding at +23.0%.

Commenting on the performance, Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, said, “In the first half of the year, we had a very strong performance thanks to our model in an improving business environment. Not only did we fully recover the revenue lost in 2020, but all of our KPIs over the first half exceeded 2019 levels. In Q2, we posted +17.1% organic growth, improving by 2% compared to 2019, despite the effects of the pandemic. This over-performance was largely driven by the US and Asia, which both grew +7% versus 2019. Our US operations posted 15.2% organic growth in Q2, with Epsilon, PMX and Sapient all delivering above +25%. Asia also accelerated further with +13.6% organic growth. Europe rebounded from a low base to +23%, mirroring the progressive lifting of lockdowns.”

He further said, “In H1 overall, we posted organic growth of +9.7%, leading to an operating margin rate at 16.5%, the group’s highest ever for a first half period, while our free cash flow up 22%, at €605 million. What is more, we once again topped new business rankings for the first half of the year, thanks to a strong run of wins.”

“We now expect to totally recover to pre-pandemic levels, a year ahead of our initial expectations, with full year organic growth at 7% and full recovery in H2, and an operating margin of 17%, provided there are no major deteriorations in the global sanitary situation,” he added.

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