• Aegis Group (full year 2003)
The London-headquartered global media services and market research group posted pre-tax profits of £80.5 million ($145.15m; €118.63m) before goodwill and exceptional items. This compares with £71.4m in 2002.
Net profit, pre-tax but after exceptionals, rose year-on-year from £34.7m to £48m, while revenue rose 9.6% over the same period, from £591.9m to £648.8m.
Aegis, 80% of whose profits derive from media buying, joined the growing chorus of hallelujahs now emanating across the agency sector: "As we enter 2004 we believe that the advertising recession, which ended in the US and Asia-Pacific in 2003, is largely over in Europe," said chief executive Doug Flynn.
He was, however, far from euphoric over the group's new business performance in 2003, reporting sales halved from $1.49 billion in 2002 to $728m. He called it "the group's worst performance for four years".
• Publicis Groupe (full year)
Strong new business growth at the Paris-headquartered agency holding company, coupled with the completion of Bcom3's integration, helped achieve a modest 2% year-on-year rise in net income to $194 million (€158.54m; £107.59m).
Revenue rose 32% to $5.3 billion, while billings rose 30% to $45.3bn, with a net new business gain of $4bn. Operating income increased by nearly 30% to $688m.
On a constant currency basis organic growth rose 2%, boosted by a Q4 uplift of 5.2%. That compares with a decline of 1.2% in the first quarter.
The group posted a 15.3% operating margin in the second half, bettering chief executive Maurice Lèvy's target of 15% margin, although for the full year this dropped slightly to 14.3%.
Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff