Havas predicts strong advance in profits

4th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 4 (AFP) - The French advertising group Havas Thursday predicted a "strong improvement" in profits and internal growth this year after reporting third-quarter revenue of EUR 338 million (USD 433 million), up 2.1 percent on the same period last year.

PARIS, Nov 4 (AFP) - The French advertising group Havas Thursday predicted a "strong improvement" in profits and internal growth this year after reporting third-quarter revenue of EUR 338 million (USD 433 million), up 2.1 percent on the same period last year.

Organic revenue growth, which excludes the impact of acquisitions, exceeded estimates from analysts that had been in the range of 0.5-1.0 percent and compared to growth of 0.7 percent in the first quarter and 0.5 percent in the second.

The company nevertheless warned that it remained "cautious" for the fourth quarter, "particularly given Havas' current environment."

By region, third-quarter sales in Europe jumped 11.1 percent to EUR 47 million and sales in Asia-Pacific climbed 7.5 percent to EUR 16 million.

Sales in North America fell 0.9 percent to EUR 135 million, while in Britain sales skidded 1.9 percent to EUR 52 million.

Net new business in the first nine months came to EUR 1.252 billion, up 45 percent expressed in annual revenue on the same period a year earlier.

Havas had been hurt by an overall slump in the advertising market and last year sustained a net loss of EUR 396 million in 2003 on sales that fell 17.2 percent.

Having failed in its bid earlier this year to acquire US rival Grey, the world's seventh largest advertising firm, Havas itself has been the subject of speculation on an eventual takeover by one of its competitors.

A company owned by French businessman Vincent Bollore, the largest Havas shareholder, has raised its stake to 22 percent. Bollore is seeking a seat on the Havas board, a position Havas appears in no hurry to give him.

Another shareholder, the Belgian advertiser Albert Frere, which acquired a 4.9 percent interest in late October, now appears to be trying to sell the shares, according to market sources.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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