Total revenue for the group was €1.9bn during 2009, down from €2.2bn in 2008 and equivalent to a 10.9% fall in organic revenue. This was relatively in line with the market according to Jean-François Decaux, chairman of the executive board and co-chief executive.
Decaux said: "2009 was the most difficult year JCDecaux has experienced since the creation of the company in 1964." He added that though the UK market declined the most in 2009, "business conditions clearly improved in the fourth quarter of 2009".
JCDecaux said its UK street furniture division recorded mid-single-digit organic revenue declines in the UK in the fourth quarter of 2009, which was a marked improvement over the double-digit organic revenue declines in the first nine months of the year.
JCDecaux Airport and BAA cancelled their pan-airport contact last year and JCDecaux is currently bidding for the airports individually. The UK transport division, which includes airports, recorded double-digit organic revenue declines in the Q4 2009 in-line with the third quarter due to "challenging business conditions in airport activities".
Billboard revenues for the group were €113.7m for the fourth quarter of 2009, down by 9.2% year on year on an organic basis, and an improvement on a 17% organic revenue decline in the third quarter of 2009.
JCDecaux said the improvement in billboard revenues was mainly driven by "a recovery in the UK billboard market where a mid- single-digit organic revenue growth was achieved in the fourth quarter".
The group's statement said: "The more positive advertiser sentiment seems to be holding into the first quarter of this year, and we are currently confident that JCDecaux can achieve positive organic revenue growth in Q1 2010.
"However, given the continuing low visibility, it is unclear whether this is the beginning of a sustained advertising recovery."
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk