French outdoor advertising giant JC Decaux is strengthening its business in the US, Asia and parts of Europe.

The company, Europe's biggest outdoor group with its billboard, furniture and transport divisions, said sales had increased by 5.5% year on year to €833.7 million ($1.02bn; £561.2m). Net profit rose 20.2% to €83.3m under new IFRS accounting rules from €69.3m in the year-ago period.

The street furniture business was a strong performer with a sales rise of 6%. Particularly significant were increases in the UK, Sweden and other European countries. In Asia strongest growth was reported in Thailand and Japan.

But billboard ad sales slowed down as a result of "difficult" conditions in France and Portugal and revenues dipped by 0.2%.

Says co-ceo Jean-François Decaux: "In the last six months we have successfully expanded our footprint in Asia, where advertising markets are growing rapidly. Our latest business developments in China and Japan pave the way for a higher exposure for us in the fastest growing geographic area in the world."

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff