Havas revenue fell; Publicis posts rise

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[Paris] Havas reported a revenue decline of 5.7% for 2003, and a fall of 3.8% for the fourth quarter of 2003. Including exchange-rate fluctuations and restructuring costs, 2003 revenues dropped 17.2%. Havas' worst-performing markets in the fourth quarter were the U.K. (down 12.1%), North America (down 4.3%) and Asia (down 10.6%). Also last week, Publicis Groupe announced a 2% increase in organic growth in 2003, accelerating to 5.2% during the final quarter of the year. Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy noted encouraging signs including the "consolidation of growth in the U.S. and in Asia and the beginning of the return to growth in Japan and in Europe ... I see no real reasons that should keep us from having a good advertising year in 2004. In the short term, what is still lacking is a more solid and broader recovery in Europe, but I have the feeling that this should occur not long from now."