Havas Up 2% in Q3; Announces Unilever Global Data Win
CEO David Jones Is 'Cautiously Confident' for Final Quarter
Havas today reported organic growth of 2% and revenue of $546 million for the third quarter of 2012. North America grew 2.5%, Europe shrank by -.4%, and the rest of the world, including Asia and Latin America, showed 11.2% growth. North America grew 2.5%, Europe shrank by -.4%, and the rest of the world, including Asia and Latin America showed 11.2% growth. Havas CEO David Jones said in a conference call with analysts that he does not expect Hurricane Sandy, or the results of the U.S. presidential election, to have a major influence on the Paris-based group's results in the final quarter of 2012. Mr. Jones said, "October will not dictate how quarter four plays out -- that will be November and December. The fact that we now know who the president is means we can get back to normal in the U.S. Clearly Sandy had an impact -- it was only on Monday [a week after the storm] that we were able to open our New York HQ -- but it won't impact the quarter." Mr. Jones also announced that Havas has just been appointed by Unilever as its global data agency. He said, "Unilever has set out to change how they use data, especially social-media data, and how they apply it to marketing. We think data provides an amazing opportunity to transform marketing and one that we intend to lead in, and the fact that we get to work with a company like Unilever is an incredibly exciting opportunity." Mr. Jones said that Havas competed against management consultants as well as advertising and media groups to win the Unilever business. Havas didn't specifiy how much the Unilever win will be worth but claimed net new business of $2 billion for the year to date ($388 million for the third quarter). Havas, which recently rebranded its Euro RSCG network as Havas Worldwide, also owns the Arnold micronetwork, and Havas Media, which includes MPG. The group was more optimistic than some of its competitors for the fourth quarter of this year. Looking ahead, Mr. Jones said he was "cautiously confident" for the final quarter, and that , for 2013, "So far clients are not cutting budgets for next year. The message we are sending out to key regional and agency heads is to be cautious, and focused on ensuring compensation levels are aligned to revenue levels. But we won't act before clients, because that 's a quick way of losing business."