CEO Says No Signs of Improvement in Ad Market

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Havas reported net income of $14.7 million for the first half of 2002, an improvement over a loss of $6.5 million reported in the same period in 2001.

Part of the improvement was due to a favorable comparison to the first half of 2001, when Havas had a large expense related to a company restructuring.

The results were presented to the company's board of directors meeting, where CEO Alain de Pouzilhac noted the advertising market in 2002 is more difficult than the company had expected.

Mr. de Pouzilhac noted there are no signs of improvement in the second half, save for some tentative signs in the U.S. market.

"We see nothing that permits us to say 2003 will be better than 2002," Mr. de Pouzilhac said.

In a conference call with analysts, he reaffirmed the company's goal to increase profit margins and deliver better organic revenue growth than its competitors.

He also stood by previous statements that Havas will not seek major acquisitions. The company has been repeatedly mentioned in the London newspapers as possible suitor for troubled Cordiant Communications.

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