Outdoor ad giant J C Decaux is scrambling to renegotiate its airport advertising contracts as war breaks out.

Decaux is eager to get more favourable terms from airport authorities as it seeks to counter an almost certain drop in air passenger numbers – and therefore a decline in eyeballs viewing the ads.

The news comes as the French group reported a healthy rise in 2002 net profits to €26 million ($27.6m; £17.6m), more than double the €10.2m in 2001. Revenues – posted in a separate statement last month [WAMN: 14-Feb-03] – rose 2.2% to €1.58bn after upbeat performances from its street furniture and billboard units offset an 11.6% slump in transport advertising.

For the first quarter of 2003, Decaux expects organic revenue growth. For the full year, however, it is giving little guidance. It believes street furniture sales will rise 2%, but is not releasing figures for transport or billboards.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff