October 20, 2016 / 5:30 AM / 3 years ago

Publicis third-quarter growth slows after loss of big accounts

PARIS, Oct 20 (Reuters) - France’s Publicis Groupe SA on Thursday said third-quarter sales grew by a mere 0.2 percent on an organic basis to 2.32 billion euros ($2.55 billion), following the loss of large media accounts in the United States in 2015.

* Third-quarter revenue was in line with a Reuters poll of 2.35 billion euros but down from 0.7 pct sales growth of 2.33 billion euros in the third quarter of 2015

* Nine-month revenue rose 1.9 percent on an organic basis to 7.07 billion euros

* Publicis confirmed full-year guidance for 2016

* The advertising group, the world’s third-largest, gained clients such as Wal-Mart, P&G’s home care products, Coty and USAA.

* Management board will propose to bring forward the 2018 target of a 42 percent payout to 2016.

* Publicis CEO, Maurice Levy, said total acquisitions in 2017 should be lower than 500 million euros.

* Levy, who is slated to leave his position as CEO in 2017, confirmed that the board would make a decision on his successor in February 2017.

* Levy said he was ready to take another position in the company’s corporate governance to assure a smooth transition, if the board asked him to do so. ($1 = 0.9116 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; editing by Diane Craft)

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