SURESNES, Paris: Havas, the advertising and communications group, posted a 9.2% decline in organic revenues in the first half of 2009, although its digital operations continued to enjoy growth during this period.

The holding company's total revenues fell from €755 million ($1.1bn; £663m) in the opening six months of 2008 to €700m in H1 this year, while its net income slid from €49m to €40m.

By region, organic revenues decreased by 8.5% in Europe – including drops of 2.6% in France and 8.9% in the UK – and 10.5% in North America.

In developing markets, Asia Pacific saw like-for-like sales tumble by 21.8%, but its Latin America operations recorded an uptick of 2.3% overall.

Overall, Havas argued that, outside of its home country of France, much of Europe is now "suffering markedly slower growth".

In North America, its digital business "continues to remain strong", but its broader performance in this area was limited by "exposure to certain sectors, finance in particular."

Brazil, Mexico and Peru were among the markets delivering strong growth in Latin America, while the loss of a major account for Dell was one of the key reasons for the slowdown in Asia Pacific.

Over the period from January to June as a whole, its margins fell from 10.9% to 10.2% year-on-year.

More positively, digital revenues rose by 5% on an organic basis in this timeframe, and now account for 16.4% of total sales.

Furthermore, Havas registered net new business wins to a value of €813m in H1, including accounts for LVMH, China Telecom, Sprint and Sanofi Aventis.

Data sourced from Havas; additional content by WARC staff