London-headquartered agency and market research holding company Aegis Group issued a bullish forecast for 2003 adspend after posting rising revenues and profits.

The group reported pre-tax profits for 2002 of £35.7 million ($57.6m; €52.2m), up from £14m the year before. Revenues rose 11.9% to £591.9 million.

Looking ahead, chief executive Doug Flynn predicted that a war with Iraq – assuming it is short – would not significantly dent the ad sector recovery. Once battle commenced, he forecast, there would be a “hiatus” in broadcast adspend of up to six days, then “over the following four to six weeks there would be a gradual recovery back to normal levels.”

The group is predicting global ad growth of 3.1% this year and 4.3% next.

• Separately, Aegis unveiled a new media agency network to offer advertisers an alternative to its flagship Carat.

Dubbed Vizeum, the new London-based grouping will meld several Aegis-owned local and regional shops. Thought to be among this number are BBJ, Feather Brooksbank and Mediekompetens.

Taking charge are chief executive Eric Drancourt (chairman of Carat International) and chief operating officer Martyn Rattle (vp of Carat International).

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff