Havas boss sees flat market for ads in Europe

29th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 29 (AFP) - The US and Asian advertising markets are seeing a strong recovery but the European market remains flat, desîte an expected boost from the European football championships and the Olympic games, Havas chairman and chief executive Alain de Pouzilhac said Thursday.

PARIS, April 29 (AFP) - The US and Asian advertising markets are seeing a strong recovery but the European market remains flat, desîte an expected boost from the European football championships and the Olympic games, Havas chairman and chief executive Alain de Pouzilhac said Thursday.

In an interview with AFP's financial news unit AFX News, de Pouzilhac said:
"We see a strong recovery in the US, we see a strong trend in Asia-Pacific, but we don't see any strong recovery in Europe."

"When we are discussing with our clients, we see exactly the same," he said, noting sharp volatility in confidence among Havas' customers.

"Europe is totally uncertain while US and Asia-Pacific is totally positive. To have a worldwide recovery, you need to have a strong recovery in Europe, and at this time we don't see it."

Europe represents about 25-27 percent of the market, he said.

De Pouzilhac said the Euro 2004 football championships in Portugal in June were likely to lend a boost to the advertising market during the second half, as would the Olympic games in Athens in August.

"But we don't think that it will permit Europe to have a strong recovery at the same time. There's potentially some improvement for two or three months, but no more than that."

"We have to be very cautious in Europe," he said.

De Pouzilhac declined to quantify the effect of the sporting events on Havas, and gave no precise details of other potential contracts.

He said Havas was involved in three or four "very important pitches, and we hope that we would win one or two."

"Most important point for us is that marketing services are positive worldwide... and for two year's they have been negative," he told AFX News.

"It means that there is a huge potential for development," he said.

Marketing services currently account for about 52 percent of the group's revenues.

Earlier the French advertising group Havas said it expected a "strong improvement" in profitability this year after first-quarter sales returned to growth, led by its French operations.

Sales for the first three months reached EUR 357 million (USD 422 million), rising 0.7 percent from the same period in 2003 and following a 3.8-percent fall in the last three months of 2003.

The company said the result was negatively impacted by EUR 27 million in foreign exchange rate effects and by EUR 24 million from businesses either sold or shut down.


© AFP

                                               Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article