Publicis Groupe reported first quarter 2014 revenue climbed 2.2% to around $2.2B, following a rocky fourth quarter.

maurice levyChairman and CEO Maurice Levy said Publicis rebounded from the end of 2013 to post organic growth of 3.3% on the strength of digital, its US operations, and as emerging markets and Europe showed signs of life.

Levy said the blockbuster merger with Omnicom is "moving forward even though progress is slower than anticipated." The deal is still expected to close in the third quarter, although anti-trust clearance is still under review in China.

North American revenue (half of Publicis' income comes from the US) saw organic growth of 4.3% to just over $1B on "renewed vigor" of the US economy.

On the PR front, key wins for MSLGroup during Q1 included Brazil accounts Amplificação and Trident. Publicis also acquired Washington-based Qorvis during the period.

Publicis debt is €790M against €761M in cash and securities.

Levy said he expects growth topping 4% for the year.