Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy chalked up an impressive 2010 financial performance as evidenced by todayís earnings release showing a 30 percent rise in profit for the year (story, sub req'd).

The Frenchman also showed once again why he stands apart from his peers in the ad/PR jungle. Levy said in his statement: "Our financial situation is extremely robust and enables us to look ahead to the future with serenity."

One cannot imagine the hard-driving WPP chief Martin Sorrell, who is Maurice's arch competitor, being serene about anything. The same can be said about Omnicom's John Wren and to a much lesser extent Interpublicís Michael Roth, who has orchestrated a masterful financial comeback.

While Sorrell has hinted about staffing up -- which goes against the DNA of Sir Martin -- to handle an upswing in business this year, Levy boldly declared that happy days are here again. "Publicis Groupe's excellent 2010 annual results have put an end to the impact of the global financial crisis, and the Groupe has emerged from this difficult context considerably stronger," he said.

The strong financials of Publicis should give a positive jolt to the entire communications business. Serene Maurice delivered the goods in 2010.

Hereís looking to a repeat performance in 2011.

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