Levy credits marketing services, digital for Publicis revenue growth

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Publicis Groupe's first-quarter 2011 revenue increased 10.7% to $1.9 billion, compared with the same period of last year. The company's revenue grew 6.5% organically in Q1, year-over-year.

Digital accounted for 28.2%, or $535 million, of Publicis' first quarter revenue. Specialized marketing services, which includes the digital business, generated 49%, or $930 million, of the Paris-based company's total Q1 revenue. Publicis owns and operates US agencies including Leo Burnett, Publicis, Publicis Modem, Publicis & Hal Riney, Razorfish and Saatchi & Saatchi.

“We are off to a good start,” said Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis, on an earnings call. “We are slightly ahead of what we planned originally. For us, it's all good.”

Lévy attributed much of his company's Q1 success to its digital business, which he said Publicis has “invested heavily in.”

Levy praised digital firm Razorfish for its Q1 Microsoft account win.

“The Microsoft win was against all of the big boys,” he said. “We were not the favorite player. We worked very hard, and I'm pleased by the work done by our team.”

Razorfish also won Starwood and Disney accounts in the first quarter of 2011, Levy said on the call. The agency lost AAA's digital account in February.

Overall, Publicis booked $1.9 billion in new business in the first quarter of 2011, including Leo Burnett's win of the McDonald's account, said Levy.

North American Q1 revenue grew 8.1% to $918 million, compared with Q1 2010. 

“The US is recovering well not only in terms of advertising and marketing spend, but also in terms of the mood of the consumer,” said Lévy.

Publicis' full-year 2010 revenue increased 19.4% to $7.4 billion, compared with 2009, the company said in February.

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