France's Publicis chief sees very tough 2009-report

PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The head of Publicis PUBP.PA, the world's fourth largest advertising group, sees 2009 as a "very difficult" year, he told French business daily La Tribune in an interview published on Thursday.

Publicis Chairman and Chief Executive Maurice Levy added that the group was taking that outlook into account when setting up its budgets for the year.

Maurice Levy told La Tribune he expected “a difficult fourth quarter ... and a very difficult year 2009.”

Publicis’s Zenith Optimedia unit, whose forecasts are closely watched for a guide to industry trends, recently cut its estimates for the global advertising market.

Levy also told La Tribune that Publicis had available cash of 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion), which he said was “superior to our needs”. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by David Holmes)