Havas Announces Organic Growth of 5.1% in 2015

More Acquisitions Than Usual Boost French Group's Overall Revenue Growth by 17.3%

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Yannick Bollore
Yannick Bollore Credit: Havas

Havas revenues were up 17.3% to $2.43 billion in 2015, with organic growth (excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations) of 5.1%.

The French group made more acquisitions in 2015 than in the previous three years combined, including the $75 million purchase of French digital agency FullSix– its biggest deal for 15 years.

Havas claimed $1.85 billion in new business for 2015, including global media accounts from Ubisoft and Danepak, and creative and digital briefs for Santander bank in Spain.

Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré said on a call with Ad Age that he expects 2016 to be another strong year, and that the group will continue to make acquisitions at a similar pace this year.

"It will be another year of growth for the industry and for Havas," he predicted. "The U.S. and Europe will continue to perform, but we have more mixed expectations of Latin America. China is shifting its economic model from industry to services which may affect some of our clients, and Russia is suffering from economic sanctions and low oil and gas prices."

In 2015, Havas grew 6.4% in North America with revenues of $863 million, 7% in Asia Pacific and Africa with revenues of $204 million, 4.7% in Europe with revenues of $1.18 billion, and 1.3% in Latin America with revenues of $180 million.

Mr. Bolloré added, "This is our eighth quarter of growth in a row. It's super-energizing and creates great momentum. Our growth is mainly due to the fact we take care of our clients – we are not a leaky bucket or an organization with all hunters and no farmers – we know our clients' needs and expectations."

Last fall Havas won the Kmart business from existing client Sears Holdings, and retained the retailer's Craftsman, Kenmore and Diehard brands after a lengthy review. The agency also extended its relationship with Telecom Italia in Italy last year by winning its business in Brazil.

"Sometimes we get new clients, and we've had a good record over the last year," Mr. Bolloré added, "but retention and growth of existing clients is our priority. Pitching we do if we have time at the weekend."

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