'A Good Year for Profitability and Growth', Claims Havas Ceo

17 November 2008

PARIS: Speaking Friday to Dow Jones Newswires, Havas ceo Fernando Rodes Vila (pictured) was in upbeat mood about the group's financial performance in the current year, despite 'impact' from the credit drought and general recessionary influences in the third quarter.

Having earlier this year predicted 5% to 6% organic revenue growth for 2008, Rodes Vila trimmed that expectation to between 4.5% and 5%.

Advertisers, he said, are delaying spending decisions across all sectors: "We knew the end of 2008 was going to be tougher and slower than the start of the year. But 2008 will still be a good year for profitability and growth."

As to prospects for 2009 Rodes Vila was guarded, calling it "too early" to comment. However, he hopes to outperform his peers with growth continuing through the new year.

"To be honest, I am not seeing the end of the financial crisis yet," he said, emphasizing that there are no easy solutions to "the phenomenon of eroding consumption".

But, emulating his fictional avatar Pangloss, Rodes Vila seemingly believes that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds". The present crisis, he opined, "also has a sort of healing effect".  

Recession could create opportunities, while the upcoming change of government in the US "could create some tailwind" amid the turmoil.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff