French agency giant Havas is warning of continued advertising woe, despite posting first-half results in which it swung out of the red.

The group reported net profits of €15 million ($14.7m; £9.5m), up from a shortfall of €28m in H1 2001.

Last year’s results were hit by exceptional charges, mostly connected with restructuring, of €109m; the comparative costs this year were just €5m.

However, excluding these one-off charges, the results were not so positive. Earnings before interest, tax and exceptional items slid 9.4% from €128m to €116m, while revenues dropped 3.4% to €1.03 billion.

Although second-half adspend will benefit from year-on-year comparison with the weak market at the end of 2001, chairman/ceo Alain de Pouzilhac cautioned that advertising would remain slow.

“We are continuing our drive in the second half,” he said, “in a market in which we do not expect any real improvement compared to the first half, with the possible exception – and even here we remain cautious – of the USA.”

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