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JCDecaux reports revenue surge as travel demand returns

JCDecaux reports revenue surge as travel demand returns

JCDecaux, the world’s biggest outdoor advertising company, has reported organic revenue growth of 32% for the first half of 2022 as the sector recovers from suppressed demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organic growth, which excludes acquisitions and foreign exchange impacts, was particularly strong in North America, where it more than doubled to €116.2m compared to the same half-year period in 2021, and in the UK (up 72% to €143.4m). JCDecaux’s revenue has now surpassed 2019 levels in Europe and North America.

This growth was driven by a “strong” second quarter of 2022, in which the company grew organically by 22% year on year. All regions recorded increases in revenues except Asia-Pacific which was flat year-on-year organically.

Growth in North America was driven by a significant return of US air travel, with US airport advertising revenue now reaching 90% of what it was before the pandemic. The persistence of lockdowns in China, as well continued transport restrictions, were cited as reasons why performance in Asia-Pacific has been weaker.

Overall, JCDecaux’s transport ad business grew 28% organically to €459m. Street furniture, its biggest source of revenue, was up 38% organically to €789.4m. Revenue for billboard advertising increased organically by 22% to €226.4m for the first half of 2022.

The company’s programmatic ad revenue has also more than doubled compared to the same period last year. VIOOH, the digital outdoor company backed by JCDecaux, is now offering inventory in 18 countries (most recently Brazil since last month). It has also completed a “strategic alliance” and taken a majority stake in Displayce, a demand-side platform that is meant to enable JCDecaux to offer a full-stack (from demand-side platform to supply-side platform) solution for advertisers.

However, Jean-Charles Decaux, co-CEO of JCDecaux, said he now expects the company to grow organically by “around 7%” in the third quarter of 2022, with “either high single digit or double digit in most countries.

He explained: “[In] China our advertising revenue remains negatively impacted by mobility restrictions. We now expect an organic revenue growth rate at around +7% with Street Furniture revenue above the same quarter in 2019.”

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