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    Publicis forks out surprise bonus package to 40,000 staff after ‘strong’ Q3

    The French holding company has released its results for the third quarter and surprised many of its employees with a week’s bonus pay.

    Half of Publicis Groupe’s 96,000 staff are to receive a surprise bonus equal to a week’s pay, the French holding company announced today. 

    Arthur Sadoun, chief executive officer of the agency group that owns Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis Sapient and BBH, said that employees who wouldn’t normally receive bonuses would be granted one week’s salary to assist those hit by higher rates of inflation. 

    “In a context where inflation is impacting the daily lives of many of them, we want to ensure we are giving additional support where it is most needed as we enter the holiday season. That is why we are granting next month an additional one-week salary to half of our team members who do not have any variable remuneration and have contributed to everything we have achieved over the past year.” 

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    It’s not the first time Publicis has given out a surprise bonus; back in February, when it announced its full-year results for 2021, all staff received a week’s extra pay.

    The group also revised its guidance to investors upwards, following a strong set of financial results. It now expects organic growth to rise to 8.5% over the course of 2022 (up from 7%), with its margin rate increasing to 18%. 

    What did the results show? 

    Publicis Groupe’s results for the third quarter of the year showed net revenues increasing by over 10%, with the company’s British agencies ignoring currency and inflation woes to post a 22.6% revenue rise. Compared with the company’s net revenue in the same time period in 2021, the group saw revenues increase by 23.5%. 

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    Sadoun said it had been a “strong” quarter. “For the third quarter in a row, our model allowed us to deliver double-digit growth by once again capturing the evolution in client spend towards first-party data management, digital media and business transformation. 

    “Publicis Sapient continued to perform strongly with 18.1% organic growth and Epsilon saw an acceleration to 13.9% organic growth this quarter. All of our regions posted solid organic growth, with both the US and Europe at 11.1%, and China at 5.9%, despite the ongoing lockdowns there. Furthermore, our new business record continues to place us at the top of industry rankings on a 12-month basis, well ahead of competition.” 

    The chief executive added the results showed the holding company had a sustainable business model, despite the knocks to the global economy in recent months. “Our Q3 numbers are clearly encouraging. But what really stands out is our performance versus pre-pandemic levels,” he said. “Compared with 2019, we’ve seen our organic growth accelerate to 16% in Q3. This demonstrates our ability to more than withstand the ups and downs of the global economy and makes us confident in our ability to face ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties.” 

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    During the last three months, the group’s agencies picked up new accounts from McDonald’s, Walmart, ByteDance and Heineken. It has also made a handful of acquisitions, including Dubai Salesforce specialist Changi Consulting. 

    The leadership team at the top of Publicis has seen some changes recently. Publicis recently appointed a new management team – dubbed the ‘Directoire’ – bringing Publicis Sapient and Publicis Media bosses Nigel Vaz and Dave Penski into the leadership of the group. But chief marketing officer Justin Billingsley left the business under a cloud last week when his position was abruptly “terminated” – due, reportedly, to his behavior towards a client

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