LONDON: Aegis, the marketing communications group, saw its full-year revenues rise 21% to £1.34 billion ($1.9bn; €1.4bn) in 2008, although net profits fell by 6.4% to £82.8 million.

The decline in profits was partially attributed to restructuring costs reaching £27.4m, most of which took the form of severance pay.

Worldwide revenues for Aegis Media rose 10% to £823.8m, with sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa also up by 24.8% year-on-year to £588.1m.

It media unit also posted growth of 8.8%, to £167.3m, in the Americas, and of £40.7%, to £68.4m, in Asia Pacific.

Digital revenues represented 29% of the company's global sales for the year, up from 26% in 2007.

Global operating profit for Aegis Media was £157.9m, though its operating margin fell slightly to 19.2%.

Synovate, the company's market research arm, also posted a 19.7% increase in global revenues to £518.2m, with an operating profit of £42.2m.

Its EMEA revenues rose 20.3% to £248.4m, with the Americas up 9.6% to £145.2m, and Asia Pacific up 32.4% to £124.6m.

Among the other major holding companies, Omnicom Group posted a 2.5% increase in profits to just over $1bn in 2008, while Publicis' profits fell 1.1% to €447m last year.

Interpublic Group's net income doubled in 2008 to $295m based, while Havas also saw its net income rise by 25% year-on-year to €104m, and WPP saw net profits fall by 5.8% to £439.1m.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff