PARIS, July 22 Advertising agency Publicis
warned that it would be "very difficult" to meet its
annual target of 4 percent organic sales growth after a
second-quarter slowdown that stemmed in part from the failure of
its merger with Omnicom in May.
Second-quarter revenue stood at 1.76 billion euros ($2.38
billion), resulting in organic growth of 0.5 percent, compared
with 3.3 percent in the first quarter, Publicis said on Tuesday.
Chief Executive Maurice Levy blamed the strong euro for
chipping away at Publicis' growth, but also recognised that
management had been distracted by the Omnicom deal.
"There was a negative effect from our intense concentration
on the merger, which took up enormous amounts of time and
effort," he said.
"The situation in Europe and the slow recovery of some
emerging markets lead us to be very cautious for the rest of the
year," he added.
Publicis would cut costs so as to try to meet its aim of
improving margins this year, he said.
($1 = 0.7395 Euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by