Havas Reports Organic Revenue Lift of 5.3% in Third Quarter

Holding Company Boosted by Strong Performances in All but Home Region

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Havas Group today posted organic-revenue growth of 5.3% in the third quarter, helped by strong performances in all markets except its home region of Europe.

Hinting at signs of a slow ad recovery, the third-quarter lift was incrementally better compared to Havas' organic revenue for the past two quarters; the Paris-based holding company reported a 1.5% lift in organic revenue in the first quarter of 2010 and a 2% lift in the second.

Overall revenue for the group -- which is the parent company for ad agencies Euro RSCG and Arnold Worldwide and media shop MPG -- is $1.53 billion for the first nine months of 2010. In a statement, the holding company estimated that new-business activity is up by 42% over the same period last year and already above the full-year total for 2009.

Havas cited among some of its biggest wins in the third quarter: Pizza Hut in Brazil, which was won by Euro RSCG, Sao Paulo; Pernod Ricard in France, which was won by BETC Euro RSCG; and the Australian World Innovation Global Business, won by Euro in London and in Sydney.

On a regional basis, Havas said that France and the U.K. ramped up performance last quarter, but "the rest of Europe continued to suffer a slowdown in growth, primarily in Southern Europe." Continued positive growth in North America was driven by the advertising, PR and health-care sectors, the holding company said, citing Euro RSCG, New York, and Arnold as turning in the best results in the region. Havas also noted a return to positive results in Asia -- a turnaround from last quarter, when revenue was down in the region 2.1% -- and double-digit growth in Latin America, from Brazil especially.

Havas, chaired by French industrialist Vincent Bollore, gave no guidance on the company's outlook for the rest of the year. Omnicom Group reports third-quarter earnings tomorrow and others will follow this month.

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