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Havas Reports Organic Revenue Growth of 1% in 2013

New CEO Yannick Bolloré Is Confident of U.S. Prospects for 2014

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Havas reported organic revenue growth of just 1% for 2013 and revenues of $2.4 billion, with digital accounting for 26% of the total. Fourth quarter growth was 1.6%.

The French group, which last month promoted Yannick Bolloré, son of its biggest shareholder Vincent Bolloré, to CEO after the departure of David Jones to start a new tech business, is growing at a slower rate than competitors Publicis Groupe and Omnicom.

Yannick Bollore
Yannick Bollore

Havas' revenue was down by -1.7% in North America to $768 million, which the company blamed on account losses at Arnold and a "softening" of the healthcare business. The fourth quarter was slightly better, with, with North American revenue down just 1.2%.

Speaking at his first results presentation since being made Havas CEO, Mr. Bolloré said he was "confident of our U.S. prospects" and added, "In the U.S., Arnold has had a tough year but we have a new team in place and Havas Worldwide has won some good accounts – Green Mountain Coffee, Liberty Mutual, Dish."

Europe grew at 1.4% in 2013 and 2.3% in the fourth quarter. The U.K. was the strongest country in the region at 6.5%, followed by France with 3% growth, while the rest of the continent showed a revenue decline of 2.7%.

Mr. Bolloré said, "Europe accounts for 50% of Havas revenue, and here the mood of the clients is starting to be better than in the last four years. In Germany we are expecting double digit growth this year, and in the U.K. it will be in the high single figures."

In a statement, Mr. Bolloré said, "We pursued our strategy of integrating our creative, media and digital teams in 2013. Deploying this new, client-centric organization makes us more agile, more innovative and quicker to respond to the changes taking place in our industry. We head into 2014 with dynamism and serenity."

Asia Pacific posted 17.5% growth in the third quarter -- boosted by wins from LG Electronics, Emirates and Danone -- and 5.4% for the full year, while Latin America grew 4.4% during the year but was down -5.6% in the fourth quarter.

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