Publicis Groupe reports revenue drop

Publicis Groupe has posted a drop in revenue for the first half of 2008, saying factors including a negative impact of the financial crisis and a weak US dollar have led to “ever-gloomier forecasts”. Revenues dropped to €2.22bn (£1.7bn) from €2.24bn (£1.76bn) during the same period a year ago.

Net income for the group also dropped, from €198m (£155m) to €192m (£151m). Publicis says the first half had been characterised by the continued general economic environment, but that it had “performed well”.

It says it is still on target to reach its goal of 25% of its revenue from digital communications and emerging markets operations by 2010. In the first half, Publicis’ digital business accounted for 18.8% of the group’s revenue compared with 12.7% a year earlier. The group’s emerging markets 11.2% to generate 22.3% of its H1 revenue compared with 20.3% in H1 2007.

The second half of 2008 will be dominated by ad budgets revolving around the Olympic Games. Forecasts drawn up by ZenithOptimedia suggests growth markets and sectors will offset expected slowdowns.

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