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Publicis Groupe has posted a net loss of €527m in 2016 in chairman and
chief executive Maurice Levy’s final set of annual results before he
stands down in June.
Lower US revenue driven by the loss of media accounts and serious
issues at its digital agency Razorfish weighed on Publicis last year,
the world’s third-largest advertising and media group by revenues
announced on Thursday, writes Harriet Agnew in Paris.

Organic growth dropped 2.5 per cent in the fourth quarter, pushing
revenue to €2.7bn. Overall revenue increased 1.4 per cent in 2016 to
€9.7bn and the group posted a net loss of €527m after booking an
impairment charge when in November it merged its digital divisions
Razorfish with SapientNitro to form SapientRazorfish.

Mr Levy said:

2017 clearly marks the beginning of a new era, as much
for the market as for our group. Society is evolving spectacularly as the exponential development of digital and other technologies obliges companies to undergo very deep transformation.

The group is undergoing its own transformation: in June Mr Levy will
move to become chairman of the supervisory board and will pass the
chairmanship of the management board to Arthur Sadoun, the advertising
giant’s creative chief.

Mr Levy said:

The first half of 2017 will still bear the marks of
previously difficulties, but as of the second half year, the group
should be back to levels of growth which are more comparable to its
peers.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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