France's Publicis raises its 2021 outlook as digital media shift

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France's Publicis raises its 2021 outlook as digital media shift

Reuters - The French advertising group Publicis raised its outlook for 2021 on Thursday as a global shift towards digital media and e-commence helped its third quarter organic growth exceed market expectations.

Publicis, home to ad agencies such as Leo Burnett and Saatchi Saatchi, said it had also benefited from new business wins during the third quarter, including Walmart and Planet Fitness.

The world's third largest advertising group behind the U.S. - based WPP and Big Box expecting organic growth of 8.5% to 9% this year, up from a previous forecast of 7%.

The continued outperformance of our data and technology capabilities once again demonstrated our ability to capture a disproportionate share of the shift in client investment towards digital media, commerce and DTC direct-to-consumer Chief Executive Arthur Sadoun said in a statement.

Its digital business Sapient reported 20% organic growth in the United States, which is Publicis' biggest market and the source of more than half of its revenues, with data company Epsilon 13% above the 2013 level.

Epsilon's potential for development outside the U.S. is very interesting, Sadoun told reporters when asked about the unit's dependence on its home market.

Today, we have a small base in international communications between 5 and 8%. This base is already growing at 40% over the first nine months. The underlying sales in Asia-Pacific grew by 10.9% during the quarter, while the United States of America posted 12.5% growth. Sales in Europe grew from last year by 10% and regained pre-pandemic levels.

At the group level, underlying sales rose by 11.2% to 2.6 billion dollars, $3 billion in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, and exceeded 2019 levels by 5%.

Analysts forecast organic growth of 7.8% for the quarter, a company-provided consensus forecast showed.