Publicis' strategic orientations (digital services and high-growth countries) played a significant part in this success story. From the start at an early stage, these strategic options have been implemented with conviction, determination and tenacity despite the global economic crisis that has prevailed over the last four years. They have strengthened the Groupe's competitiveness in the segments with the highest growth and brightest future, and have made Publicis the most innovative communications group of all, and not just in the digital sector.
The list of our success stories, innovations, and strategic performances would be too long to enumerate. However, it is a reflection of the vitality and attractiveness of our offering, as evidenced by the vast array of awards received, the accounts won and our clients development. We are nonetheless aware of the need to continue to strive to be even better and to further strengthen our Groupe, as we have just done with the acquisition of LBi which has been combined with Digitas to constitute the world's No.1 digital network.
While 2012 was a more difficult year than expected, 2013 looks like it will be even more difficult, between economic uncertainty, the weakness of Europe, where whole sectors of industry both lack competitiveness and face consumers' concerns. Notwithstanding all this doom and gloom, there is good news from the USA where growth is up (even if the trend is still fragile), and from the high-growth countries where forecasts are more optimistic.
Publicis Groupe is creating jobs throughout the world, including in France, even though this presupposes that profiles and organizations undergo change. There is no escaping the fact that we must constantly adapt if we are to address the issues imposed upon us by globalization and technology, probably also a key factor for our success.To tackle this new world, we have a healthy group with a very solid balance sheet, capable of taking initiatives to progress again in order to provide our clients with strong, creative, innovative and winning solutions to help them expand their businesses.