Chief Executive Doug Flynn said in a statement, "The U.S. advertising market has begun to show some tentative signs of recovery in the first half of the year, however the European market was down."
Financial analysts praised Aegis for delivering organic growth in a down market. Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Georges Gurkovsky reaffirmed his "outperform" rating on the stock, noting it outpaced his forecast of flat organic growth.
Separately, Publicis Groupe reported 2% growth in net profit to $53.7 million on revenues of $1.15 billion, up 2.4% from the first half of 2001. Publicis attributed the growth to the company's 2001 recent restructuring and its refinancing of debt. Management confirmed plans to close its $3.2 billion acquisition of Bcom3 Group after Bcom3 shareholders approve the sale Sept. 20.