HAVAS REPORTS REVENUE DOWN FOR QUARTER

Blames WorldCom Ad-Spending Freeze as One Reason for Drop

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Shares of French agency holding company Havas fell today after reporting declining third-quarter revenue.

Havas reported revenue of $447 million, down 5% from the same period last year; on an organic basis, revenue dropped 5.5% after factoring out acquisitions and currency fluctuations.

Europe, North America down
Revenues from Europe, Havas' largest business region, were down 5.8% on an organic basis to $213.9 million, and North American revenues were down 6.9% on an organic basis to $203.8 million. Havas does not report income figures on a quarterly basis.

Havas stock closed at $4.39

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in the Paris Bourse, down 11.2%.

In a conference call with analysts, Havas executives said results for the quarter were affected by Euro RSCG MVBS client MCI WorldCom, which halted spending after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this summer.

WorldCom has resumed spending in the fourth quarter under conditions established by the bankruptcy court. Analysts have estimated WorldCom accounts for 1% of Havas' annual revenue.

2003: Flat ad market
Havas Chairman-CEO Alain de Pouzilhac said he expected no significant improvement in what remains of the second half for 2002, and that the ad market will remain flat in 2003. He said that should allow the company to post positive organic growth thanks to cost controls implemented this year.

Havas will keep "adapting" its cost structure, Mr. de Pouzilhac said, adding that no additional restructurings or global job cuts are expected this year.

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