PETEAUX, FRANCE: Havas, the holding company that owns and operates Havas PR, reported a 0.9% organic drop in revenue in the first quarter of 2013, compared with Q1 2012, to about $505 million.
In North America, the company saw a 3.9% organic revenue decrease to $177 million in Q1, compared with the same period of the prior year.
The holding company, which does not break out PR earnings, said its US business slowed after a strong end to 2012.
“The group held up well against the sharp downturn in the European market overall in the first quarter of 2013, achieving positive performances in the key markets of France and the UK. Business in North America slowed after outperforming the market in Q4 2012, but emerging markets remain solid,” Havas CEO David Jones said in a statement. “Digital, media, advertising, and healthcare communications all made significant contributions to group performance.”
The company revealed in an earnings statement that the drop in North American revenue was driven by “high comparisons and certain one-off account losses from last year, including Dell at Arnold and Sprint and Exxon at Havas Worldwide.” However, it added that healthcare communications delivered strong growth.
Last month, WPP Group's PR and public affairs business saw a 4.1% like-for-like drop in revenue in Q1, while Omnicom Group's PR agencies reported a 1.9% organic revenue increase. Interpublic's PR firms saw 4% organic revenue growth, and Publicis' MSLGroup network reported organic revenue growth of between 2% and 3% in the first quarter.
Havas' Q1 revenue is down significantly from the pace it set last year, when it reported 3.6% first-quarter organic revenue growth in North America.