Canadian Cossette eyes NY acquisitions

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[Montreal] At Cossette Communication Group's annual meeting last week, the leading Canadian agency group's Chairman-CEO Claude Lessard said, "Further development in New York is our No. 1 priority." He said the company is also looking for an acquisition in California. Last year Cossette bought New York agency Tarsitano Creative and made its first European acquisition, U.K.-based branding consultancy Identica. "Our second priority is London, where the next logical addition is an advertising agency," he said. Mr. Lessard also told shareholders Cossette is starting a sports marketing company called Thinking Sports and wants to add a public relations company. He reported that Cossette's net earnings for the first quarter of the fiscal year that started Oct. 1, 2003 were up 20.8% to $2.6 million for first quarter. That doesn't reflect the future impact on Cossette of losing the $44 million Canadian portion of McDonald's Corp.'s media buying, an account that moved globally to Omnicom Group's OMD.