Publicis Groupe Annual General Shareholders' Meeting Dividend set at 0.70 euros per share
Supervisory Board: Elisabeth Badinter re-elected President
PARIS, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Publicis Groupe [EURONEXT Paris: FR0000130577] today held a Combined Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meeting presided by Elisabeth Badinter, Chair of the Supervisory Board.
All the resolutions submitted to shareholders for approval at the meeting were adopted, notably concerning regulated agreements and authorizations for capital increases, with or without pre-emptive subscription rights. Resolutions 16 and 22 were the only ones not adopted. Resolution 16 concerns the issue of shares up to the limit of 10% of capital, with the right to set the issue price and a possible maximum 10% discount. Resolution 22 concerns the right to authorize the use of Resolutions 12 to 21 regarding capital increases with or without pre-emptive subscription rights in the event of a public bid targeting the Company's securities.
Shareholders approved a net dividend of 0.70 euros per share, unchanged from the previous year, with dividend payments to shareholders to commence on July 2, 2012.
The Annual General Shareholders' Meeting approved the renewal of the terms of office of Elisabeth Badinter and Henri-Calixte Suaudeau as members of the Supervisory Board.
Maurice Lévy, Chairman & CEO of Publicis Groupe, summarized 2011 highlights and results: "Despite the sovereign debt crisis and economic downturn, Publicis once again outperformed the market in terms of growth, an achievement all the more remarkable as it follows the exceptional growth performance. We have improved our margin, which is now back on the 16% mark, even as we continued to invest in technology and talent. Future financial investments will focus primarily on consolidating our two growth pillars: the digital sector and high-growth countries. Much of our strong performance in 2011 is due to the loyalty of our clients, who trust us to give them a winning edge in a digitalized, globalized and highly competitive world. In serving them, our teams have demonstrated their ability to apply their talent, creativity and inventiveness with a high degree of commitment, efficacy and success. I would like to express my gratitude to all. We ended 2011 with a strong balance sheet and record results for new business. Our solid financial foundation coupled with our organizational flexibility, our capacity for innovation and our creativity should enable us to successfully navigate the new era that lies ahead, featuring a rapid succession of short business cycles. This will call for flexibility and agility; two qualities in which our Groupe has always excelled. We are well set to continue on our course of strong, lasting and profitable growth."
Commenting on 2012, Mr. Levy added: "The current year has once again been impacted by the sovereign debt crisis with all its accompanying uncertainties. In this context, advertisers are adopting a prudent profile, as we can see from the slowdown in second quarter growth. Although, we will, as we've already announced, see a slowdown in growth in the second quarter. Publicis Groupe is on course to deliver growth above the market average for the full year".
Looking back on the Groupe's progress since the death of its founder, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, Mr.Lévy observed "Three key steps transformed Publicis into a global, multi-network communication group at the forefront of, cutting-edge market segments, backed by a rock-solid balance sheet. The first step was to take an excellent French agency known for its highly popular ads and make it a global network with the credibility to win over leading global advertisers, within an incredibly short space of time. Second came, a series of high-risk but carefully calculated gambles, when we acquired Saatchi & Saatchi and Bcom3 (Leo Burnett, Starcom MediaVest Group, etc.). The final step has been a bold strategy of all-out pursuit of leadership in the digital sector that has made us the world number one". "The figures speak for themselves", Mr. Levy continued "between 1996 and 2011, Publicis Groupe revenue increased tenfold (from 560 M€ to 5 816 M€), net income multiplied by 26 (from 23 M€ to 600 M€) and market capitalization increased by a factor of 20. According to Bloomberg, someone who invested 100 euros on February 1, 1996 would, by December 31, 2011, have lost 12 euros if they had invested in Interpublic, gained 117 euros on an investment in Havas, 167 euros if they had chosen the CAC 40 index, 390 euros on WPP, 461 euros on Omnicom and 837 euros if they had invested in Publicis. Our task now is to continue this great adventure by investing further in the Groupe's two growth pillars, the digital sector and high-growth markets, and by preserving and adhering to those values that make Publicis such a special compagny".
Following the General Shareholder's meeting, the Supervisory Board met and unanimously re-elected Madame Elisabeth Badinter Chair of the Supervisory Board.
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, part of the CAC 40 index] is the third largest communications group in the world, offering the full range of services and skills: digital and traditional advertising, public affairs and events, media buying and specialized communication. Its major networks are Leo Burnett, MSLGROUP, PHCG (Publicis Healthcare Communications Group), Publicis Worldwide, Rosetta and Saatchi & Saatchi. VivaKi, the Groupe's media and digital accelerator, includes Digitas, Razorfish, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia. Present in 104 countries, the Groupe employs 54,000 professionals.
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