LONDON: UK-headquartered media agency conglomerate Aegis Group has reported a solid start to the year with an 8.3% rise in organic growth in the first quarter. It expects the strong figures to bolster its defences against continuing assaults by Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré.

The company recently called on shareholders to reject a fifth attempt by Bolloré - who has a 29.9% stake in Aegis - to shoehorn two directors on to its board.

Ceo Robert Lerwill (pictured) says the Q1 numbers have been boosted by new business wins from Johnson & Johnson and Mattel.

In addition, he says: "We're also seeing increasing spending from existing clients such as Fox, Coca-Cola and Renault. A lot of that is building on our digital capability."

Organic growth of 10.3% at Aegis' marketing and communications division was swelled by account wins including motoring organisation the AA, satellite TV provider Sky and The Telegraph newspaper.

However, Synovate, the group's market research division, reported organic growth that was below some analysts' expectations at 5%.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff -