Havas reports $25.8M net income

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[paris] Havas credited better earnings to cost controls and cutbacks, but warned that Europe, its key region, remains weak. Havas posted net income of $25.8 million for 2002, after a 2001 loss of $63.5 million. Chairman-CEO Alain de Pouzilhac said the company is seeing the benefits of restructuring in late 2001 and 2002 cost cuts. Revenues of $2.15 billion for 2002 were down 7.7% from 2001, or a drop of 5.8% on an organic basis, after adjusting for acquisitions and the effects of currency. Revenue growth is beginning to show improvement in North America, where it was down 1.5% in the fourth quarter, said Bob Schmetterer, president-chief operating officer. But Europe was down 11.4% in the fourth quarter, mainly due to lower marketing services revenue in the U.K., he said. North America is seeing "more normalcy of client spending," he said. He cited increased new business activity in North America and Europe in the first quarter as another positive sign. Havas stock, after months at all-time lows, closed up 13.5% on the Paris Bourse on March 6.
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