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)