Havas revenue slows in 2016 but still registers overall growth

Havas Group was unable to match its double-digit growth of last year after posting a 3.3 per cent lift in global revenue for 2016.

Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré
Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré

The group today reported net income of €177m (£151.2m, $186.6m) in 2016, 3.3 per cent up on 2015.

Meanwhile its consolidated revenue was €2.28bn for the full year and organic growth was 3.1 per cent.

The group was unable to claim another record-breaking year, after Havas posted 17.3 per cent year-on-year growth last year and 4.3 per cent growth in 2014 (also a record-breaking year at the time).

The results did not break out PR-specific numbers, but does detail major new business wins. For PR, these include a UK campaign for Deliveroo, work with Kellogg's, a brief from TV channel Canal+ in Poland, with French travel company Voyages-sncf.com targetting the UK market, and for American restaurant group Panda Express.

Chief executive Yannick Bolloré credited the group’s results, particularly in the fourth quarter, to "strong performance" from Europe, which grew 5.4 per cent in revenue and "an upturn in our businesses in North America, which posted growth of 7.3 per cent".

Regional breakdown

However France and the UK, the group’s two largest markets, slowed to growth of 2.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. Havas' organic growth for France in 2015 was 3.2 per cent while for the UK it was 4.4 per cent.

While North America has been challenging for most agency groups, Havas Group reported growth of 2.1% for the region. The group’s release credited Havas Media, Havas Chicago and Havas Health for the region’s positive numbers.

Asia-Pacific has been more difficult for Havas, with Q4 revenues dipping due to previous high performance coupled with reduced spend by "certain clients". This has affected China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and the UAE in particular, said the release. Full year organic revenue dropped by 1.8%.

The group’s businesses in Latin America dropped sharply in 2016, with full-year organic revenue falling 2.6%. "Mexico is the country facing the greatest difficulties following the loss of clients. The media businesses in Brazil continued to grow and Argentina and Colombia both performed well thanks to their development of existing clients such as Danone, L’Oréal, PSA and Sab-Miller," said the release.

"The dynamic performance of our sales teams coupled with the effects of our Together strategy provided the impetus for these convincing results, backed by a sound, healthy financial position showing positive net cash at December 31," said Bolloré.

  • This story originally appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign. Additional details have been added by PRWeek.

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