Havas Reports Revenue Up 1.8% in First Half on U.S. Growth

No Recovery Seen Yet for Continental Europe and Parts of Asia

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LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Havas Group reported organic revenue growth of 1.8% in the first half of 2010, boosted by 2% growth in the second quarter. WPP and Aegis Group also recently reported somewhat higher organic revenue growth for the first half.

Revenue at Paris-based Havas, which includes Euro RSCG, Havas Media, MPG and Arnold Worldwide, was up 4.2% to $926 million for the first half of 2010 from $889 million during the same period a year ago. Profit rose by 23% to $62 million for the first half from $51 million last year.

In a statement, Havas described North America as the "powerhouse" of the group's growth, "thanks to the advertising, health-care communication and media businesses." Revenue for the region was up 4.6% to $148 million.

In Asia Pacific, revenue was down 2.1% to $20.3 million, despite growth in China, India and Singapore, because of a tougher market in Thailand, Indonesia and Australia. In Latin America, however, revenue rocketed up by 25.8% to $28 million.

New business won at the end of 2009 helped grow revenue in the U.K. by 4.6% for the first half of the year to $52 million. Havas' parent country France saw revenue fall by 3.3%, mainly due to the loss of the Carrefour retail account last year to Publicis. For the rest of Europe, which has yet to recover from the global recession, revenue was down by 4.6%.

Unlike other advertising groups, Havas, chaired by French industrialist Vincent Bollore, gave no guidance on the company's outlook for the rest of the year, although company execs have a meeting scheduled with analysts on Wednesday.

In the first half of 2010, Havas' digital business accounted for 17% of the group's total revenue, up from 16% in the same period last year.

Havas also claimed net new business worth $1.5 billion in the first half of the year, up 50% on the same period last year. Accounts won include Credit Suisse recruitment worldwide, Panasonic, New Balance, Brother and Louis Vuitton.

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