Publicis Groupe: First Quarter 2021 Revenue

Returning to growth in Q1 in a challenging environment

Solid organic growth of +2.8% in Q1, thanks to our transformation

U.S. positive for the second quarter in a row at +5.1% organic, with:  
- Publicis Sapient at +11.2% 
- Mid-single digit growth for Epsilon for the 2nd consecutive quarter, at +4.7% 
- Double-digit growth in digital media

Acceleration of organic growth in Asia at +5.7%, +3.0% in China

Sequential improvement in Europe at -1.8% (+2.8% excluding MediaTransports and the Drugstore)

Uncertainties remain due to still evolving sanitary conditions 

Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe:

“In an environment that remains challenging, Publicis Groupe is returning to positive organic growth. Thanks to the effects of our transformation, we posted a solid +2.8% in Q1, ahead of expectations.

This performance is mainly driven by the U.S. and Asia, which already outperformed all of our competitors in 2020.

Our U.S. operations were positive for the second quarter in a row, with +5.1% organic growth. We continued to capture a disproportionate amount of the shift in client investment towards digital channels, e-commerce and DTC, as demonstrated in the acceleration of Publicis Sapient’s U.S growth at +11.2%. It is also visible with Epsilon, posting mid-single digit growth for the second consecutive quarter, at +4.7%.

In Asia, we reported an acceleration in organic growth of +5.7% for Q1. China returned to growth at +3.0%, as it began to benefit from a strong series of wins over the past 18 months.

Europe meanwhile is showing sequential improvement, with a performance that was slightly down in Q1 at -1.8%. Excluding Mediatransports, and The Drugstore, on the Champs-Elysées, organic growth in Europe was at +2.8%. Some countries like France and Germany are returning to growth, but ongoing lockdowns weighed on some of our operations.

On the new business front, Q1 has been very busy, with some structural wins like L’Oréal Media business in China, Infiniti’s global creative, AB InBev’s data business, Toyota’s entire advertising portfolio in Australia, Unilever Shopper Marketing and Samsung media in the U.S.

For the rest of the year, we will continue to focus on our main priorities: putting our people first by safeguarding their health and wellbeing; staying close to our clients, who are under pressure to reinvent their business model; and accelerating on our product roadmap, which is advancing well, as demonstrated by our recent partnership with The Trade Desk.

Of course, returning to growth earlier than expected raises even further the confidence we have in our model, and I would like to thank our people for their incredible efforts and our clients for their trust. Nonetheless, we remain cautious in what is a still very challenging environment.


Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40] is a global leader in communication. The Groupe is positioned at every step of the value chain, from consulting to execution, combining marketing transformation and digital business transformation. Publicis Groupe is a privileged partner in its clients’ transformation to enhance personalization at scale. The Groupe relies on ten expertise concentrated within four main activities: Communication, Media, Data and Technology. Through a unified and fluid organization, its clients have a facilitated access to all its expertise in every market. Present in over 100 countries, Publicis Groupe employs around 103,000 professionals.