French-owned global outdoor advertising giant J C Decaux reported on Thursday a year-on-year fall of nearly three percent in first-half sales.

With aggregated revenues for the period at €758.2 million ($870.57m; £537.6m), the shortfall was most marked in the transport advertising division, 6.5% down. This JCD attributed to the effects of the SARS outbreak in Asia, which damaged its Hong Kong airport and metro advertising business.

Chairman/ceo Jean-Francois Decaux said he expected no advertising sector improvement in the company’s key European markets, although there were signs that the US market was improving.

Whether the improving climate stateside will rub-off on JCD remains to be seen. The company is currently pitching for a lucrative advertising concession with New York City – rumoured to be worth $1 billion (€0.87bn; £0.62bn) in annual revenues – but faces severe competition from US contenders Viacom and Clear Channel.

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