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Oct. 19, 2017, 3:34 a.m. EDT

Publicis shares fall 5% on disappointing revenue

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By Nick Kostov

PARIS--Shares in Publicis Groupe SA (PUB.FR) fell more than 5% on Thursday after the world's third-largest advertising group reported third-quarter organic revenue below the consensus of analysts.

Publicis, which owns agencies including Leo Burnett and Saatchi and Saatchi, said revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 1.2% on an organic basis to 2.26 billion euros ($2.67 billion), following a 0.8% rise in the second quarter.

However, analysts had on average been expecting a 1.8% rise in third-quarter organic revenue.

The Paris-based company is trying to turn things around after a difficult 2016 in which its financial performance lagged behind rivals. Key to improving its performance is a broad reorganization of its business, aimed at fostering greater collaboration between its agencies, and a push to offer clients more consulting services.

The numbers were lifted by the company's North America business, where year-on-year organic revenue--a measure used to judge the company's underlying performance--increased 3%. Its other geographical regions were mixed, with organic revenue in Europe falling 1.5%, Latin America up 2% and Asia Pacific down 3.1%.

On Tuesday, rival Omnicom Group Inc. opened up advertising holding company earnings season with beats on the top and bottom line.

Publicis Chief Executive Arthur Sadoun told reporters that Publicis would hold an investor day on March 20 next year where the company would provide guidance over its outlook for 2018.

Write to Nick Kostov at nick.kostov@wsj.com

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