PARIS: If Havas chairman Vincent Bolloré hasn't broken-out Bollinger's Grande Année 1996 for the marketing services holding company's global workforce, then fie on him!

Between them the Havas hewers hacked organic revenues totalling €754.8 million ($1.184bn; £595.6m) from the marketing coalface in H1, an alltime group record.

And even though net new business for the period was down slightly on H1 2007 by approximately $1.78 billion, the overall result bettered analysts' consensus expectations of 6.3% growth with a year-on-year increase of eight percent.  

Havas appears to be defying the global slowdown in similar vein to its rival compatriot Publicis Groupe and US-headquartered Omnicom, both of whom last week reported smiley results.

Havas ceo Fernando Rodes Vila is not allowing the company's H1 achievement to color future realities with a false rosy glow. 
"We are now preparing for a more fragile economic environment but our performance, which exceeded our expectations, leaves us comfortable about our ability to react."

Leading the firm's H1 growth curve were its digital, corporate communications, media and design units, although all aspects of the business performed well, Rodes Vila said. 

Asia-Pacific grew 18%,  Europe by 8%, Latin-America 7.5% and North America, 6.5%.

In the light of the current economic malaise, the latter's performance was especially notable – thanks in the main to  "double-digit growth" by Euro RSCG

As is common with publicly quoted French companies, net income will reported separately, probably towards the end of August.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff