LONDON: With a backward eye cast on the omnipresent spectre of Vincent Bolloré – Havas chairman and a 29.3% shareholder in Aegis Group – the latter announced "best in class" organic revenue growth of 8.2% during the half-year to June 30.
Across its two main businesses, Aegis Media and research arm Synovate, overall revenues rose 21.8% year-on-year to £607.6 million ($1.11bn; €757.97m); or plus 13.7% on a constant currency basis. Underlying pre-tax profit was up 15.4% on a constant currency basis to £56.2m versus £41.3m in the year-ago period.
Twenty-nine per cent of media revenues accrued from digital business, up from 26% in 2007, while the group now employs 300 staff worldwide on digital activity.
Says ceo Robert Lerwill: "Our financial performance has been good in the first half of 2008. We achieved double-digit growth throughout our income statement with revenue up 13.7%, operating profit up 16.7% and pre-tax profit up 15.4%.
"Our organic growth remains ahead of the wider industry at 8.2%, and our strategic progress has been good - increasing our footprint in digital and emerging markets and making gains in operational efficiency."
Lerwill acknowledges that stormy waters lie ahead: "We achieved these results despite a trading environment that is becoming tougher - with signs of slowing demand, particularly in Spain, the US and the UK.
"Consequently our revenue outlook for the second half of 2008 is less certain. We anticipate a lower rate of market growth than in the first half and are therefore taking some early steps to tighten our cost base in a number of markets.
"Nonetheless, we remain confident of delivering a result for the year at the upper end of market expectations."
Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff