Aegis profits up 19%

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Aegis, London, the holding company for media buying giant Carat, reported first-half pre-tax profits rose 19% from a year ago to $46.6 million on sales of $3.6 billion. Aegis had $806 million in net new wins, more than half of which were generated in the U.S. That compares with $770 million in net new business for all of 1998. Carat entered the U.S. in November 1996, and today the world's largest media market only accounts for 13% of its media business. Asked if Aegis would consider teaming up with a large U.S. media specialist, Chief Executive Doug Flynn said: "We're not a huge believer in alliances.'' The group isn't planning any major acquisitions, only in building the Carat network in Latin America and China, Mr. Flynn said. The group is looking for acquisitions of customized market research companies such as U.S.-based Market Facts, which it bought in June for $297 million.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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