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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Publicis warns annual growth target will be hard to meet, (NASDAQ: WPPGY)

French advertising group Publicis has warned it would be "very difficult" to meet its sales growth target this year after a second-quarter slowdown, caused in part by the failure of its planned merger with Omnicom in May.Organic or self-generated sales growth fell to 0.5 percent from 3.3 percent in the first quarter, the company said on Tuesday, below its 4 percent annual target and short of analysts' expectations, with growth in North America not enough to offset weakness in Europe and sluggishness in China and India.Shares in Publicis, whose global advertising brands also include Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, closed down 4.7 percent at 56.11 euros on Tuesday, their lowest since August last year, a month after the planned "merger of equals" with Omnicom was unveiled.Publicis is the world's third-largest advertising group after Britain's WPP Plc and its deal with No. 2 Omnicom was supposed to create the world's largest agency, best-equipped to compete in the Internet era. They called it off in early May after a battle for control and divergent corporate cultures.

Shares of WPPGY traded higher by 0.98% or $1.03/share to $105.95. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $89.05 and as high as $115.40. On average, 69408 shares of WPPGY exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 13960.