PARIS: Online advertising expenditure registered double-digit growth in France last year, with search, display and mobile all witnessing impressive gains.

According to figures from the SDI and UDECAM, the trade body, and Capgemini, the consultancy, web ad sales climbed by 11% in 2011, to a total of €2.6bn.

This rate of growth marked an improvement on the 9% expansion logged in 2010 and the 6% lift recorded in 2009, when the downturn took hold. Prior to this, returns leapt by 23% in 2008.

Looking ahead, the analysis predicted web revenues would rise by 8% in 2012, a slowdown largely down to troubling economic conditions and increasing market maturity.

Over the course of 2011, paid search ads, like those provided by Google and Bing, matched the sector as a whole with an 11% expansion, to €1.1bn.

Display formats, such as banners and online video, enjoyed a 15% improvement measured against the previous 12 months, generating €616m.

Mobile experienced the most rapid growth, 37%, among the sectors assessed by the study, but remains relatively modest in value terms, at €37m.

Sales of in-stream video ads, shown before or after content, hit €60m, and were anticipated to see a further hardening in demand this year.

Sébastien Danet, president of ZenithOptimedia and the head of UDECAM, also argued the French internet ad market lags behind the most advanced nations at present, with online taking a 19% share of adspend.

"It was long thought that the bar was a 20% ceiling; we now know that some countries have reached 25% or 30%," he told Les Echos.

Among the other trends identified by the study was the rise of exchanges allowing publishers to sell display advertising inventory in real time.

Currently, these platforms are responsible for only 3% of display activity in France, compared with 13.6% in the US, the report added.

Data sourced from Les Echos; additional content by Warc staff