Paris-based global network Havas Advertising yesterday unveiled glowing first half results with a strong performance in billings, gross income and net profits.

Billings exceeded $4.29 billion, 38.8% up on the same period in 1999, while gross income at $646 million represented an identical percentage increase. Net profits at $39.4m did even better, achieving a 45% leap.

The results, said chairman Alain de Pouzilhac, “confirm the excellent health of our group and the wisdom of our strategic choices". The latter refers to a raft of agency acquisitions across North and South America and Europe intended to boost marketing services revenues.

Among these is the $2.2 billion purchase of Maryland, USA-based Snyder Communications, now on the cusp of completion. The deal, which did not impact on first half results, is expected to make a major full-year contribution, and will leapfrog Havas to fourth position in Advertising Age's global rankings.

Marketing services will represent 60% of Havas' billings once the merger with Snyder is completed, said de Pouzilhac, while traditional advertising will drop to 40%.

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily