Publicis Groupe reported a 3.1 percent decline in Q4 growth to $3.2M, which the French ad/PR combine blames on negative exchange rates.
At constant rates, revenues advanced 2.7 percent.
Organic growth during the period rose 2.2 percent, sparked by a robust 4.5 percent rise in the US, which generates more than 50 percent of overall revenues.
Noting that Publicis is “in the midst of its own transformation,” CEO Arthur Sadoun said “the quality of our results demonstrates Publicis Groupe’s strength and our ability to adapt to the deep changes affecting our industry.”
Sadoun said US business grew in Q4 due to the ramp-up of accounts awarded since the summer of 2016 (Lowes, Wal-Mart, Synergy Pharmaceuticals and USAA), plus the addition of wins in early 2017 (Molson Coors and FirstNet).
Europe was flat in Q4. Publicis gained in the UK (+5.5 percent), Italy (+4.0 percent) and France (1.1 percent) but crashed in Germany (-6.9 percent).
Sadoun will announce growth and margin objectives at the March 20 investor day.
He promised to “shed more light” on the firm’s “ambition to become the leader in marketing and business transformation, including the strategy and the means to reach these objectives.”