LONDON: Media, market research and digital advertising group Aegis has posted a record amount of new business in the first half of the year, thanks to contract wins from sports equipment giant Adidas-Reebok and the Abbey National bank.

The company, being stalked by Havas chairman and largest shareholder Vincent Bolloré [WAMN: 26-Jun-06], notched £685 million ($1.3bn; €1.01bn) in new business, while pre-tax profit rose 8.9% to £38m.

Organic revenue growth increased 7.2%, beyond analysts' expectations of around 6%, fuelled by the rapid rise in online advertising. The figures put the group at the top end of the industry growth league table.

Aegis, which owns the Carat media buying network, market research firm Synovate and digital agency Isobar, said in a statement: "Our strategy of putting digital marketing services and communications planning at the heart of Aegis Media is delivering clear benefits to our clients."

Isobar showed organic revenue growth of 30% in H1 and accounts for 19% of its parent company's income.

The group says it is trading in line with expectations, adding it is set to make most of its profit in the second-half due to the increasingly seasonal nature of its business.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff