LONDON: Claiming 'best in industry' organic growth of 7.7%, Aegis Group ceo Robert Lerwill declared 2006 "another excellent year", citing "record new business wins". Pre-tax profit rose 20.7% to £113.5 million ($225.3m; €167.77m).

Continued the paean: "Both Aegis Media [the umbrella group for the firm's media operations] and Synovate [its research arm] delivered strong performances, ensuring that overall Aegis delivered better organic revenue growth than its peers; and a tenth year of market-outperformance."

And the outlook for 2007?

"The fundamentals in our markets and our own businesses remain favourable," said Lerwill. His optimism is based on expectations of global expenditure growth both in advertising and market research - at 5.8% and 4.5% respectively - and "broadly in line with 2006".

Group chairman Lord Colin Sharman was also in bull mode: "Trading for the year has started well across Aegis. For the first quarter, total revenue increased by 10.8 per cent at constant currencies, and by 4.6 per cent at reported rates.

"Momentum has been particularly strong in both Asia-Pacific and EMEA, helped by a good competitive performance, a buoyant market in China and the effect of a record $2.7 billion of net new business won in 2006."

Amid this orgy of optimism, however, there is silence as to predicted numbers for 2007. Some observers believe that currency fluctuations, having effectively halved gross revenue growth in 2006, are likely to significantly erode Aegis's bottom line this year.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff