Less than four months after its initial public offering, French outdoor advertising giant J C Decaux is mulling a share buyback.

Decaux, the world’s third largest outdoor advertising group [after US duo Clear Channel International and Viacom’s Infinity], has seen its share price fall by almost 50% since the $950 million IPO in June.

Says Jean-Francois Decaux, chief executive of the family-run firm: “We are considering a share repurchase at the moment, but first want to be sure that it would help the share price and would not adversely affect liquidity in our stock.”

Decaux expects to maintain sales growth during Q3 2001. “Despite the further downturn in the advertising market since July and reduced visibility across all geographies following the tragic events in the US last week,” he said, “the group expects to record double-digit revenue growth in the third quarter.”

As to full-year prospects, he remained non-committal as to numbers, voicing only an upbeat generalisation: “Looking ahead we expect that the outdoor industry will continue to affect the global advertising market and that J C Decaux will continue to grow faster than the outdoor sector.”

News source: Financial Times