Paris-headquartered Havas Advertising, the world’s fifth largest advertising group (trailing Interpublic, WPP, Omnicom and Publicis), yesterday unveiled a substantial hike in first quarter gross profits - up 60.2% to E545.2 million (£336.04m).

Bucking the fashion for profit warnings, Havas chairman Alain de Pouzilhac said he saw no need for one. New business, he declared, had “taken off” in April, although he was less than bullish about the immediate prospects for Havas’ US activities.

“I think we have to be cautious today because of the lack of visibility in the American market, which represents around half the world market,” conceded de Pouzilhac.

Havas also reported a 63.8% increase in first-quarter billings to E3.6bn (£1.95bn).

News Source: BBC Online Business News (UK)