Suresnes, France, headquartered Havas - the globe's sixth largest marketing services group - on Tuesday released first quarter results reflecting worldwide organic growth of 1.4%, in line with analysts' expectations and twice that of the same period last year.
Trumpeting the numbers as evidence of accelerating recovery, Havas chairman/ceo Alain de Pouzilhac attributed Q1 growth to "very good performance" in the US and Europe."
He continued: "The first quarter has reinforced our confidence in achieving our objectives for 2005. We are also confirming our objective of improving the operating margin through the gradual build-up of new accounts, the development of existing clients and our continued cost reduction efforts."
First quarter revenues stood at €330 million ($424.94m; £225.7m), 7.5% down on the same period last year. Regional fortunes varied with Latin America leading the race out of the red and the UK lagging it …
- North America increased +1.8% confirming Havas' recovery in a market accounting for 41% of group revenue - attributable mainly to good performance on the part of Arnold Worldwide (excluding its RadioShack account win in April).
- France and rest of Europe outperformed the market (+2.2% and +2.1% respectively). However, the UK was down 3.3%, primarily as a result of the postponement of government advertising expenditure due to the national elections.
- Latin America again achieved outstanding organic growth of 19.7%, compared with 11.1% in fourth quarter 2004.
- Asia-Pacific dropped 2.7%, largely because of problems in Australia. This was partly compensated by a robust performance in China (+8.5%).
Data sourced from Havas; additional content by WARC staff