Havas announces increase in profits

PARIS: French marcoms group and Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster owner Havas has reported a rise in profitability to 12 per cent for the first half of 2004.

But it also announced revenue of £499m for the first half of the year, down from £556m in 2003.

Havas said the drop was down to a significant shift in the euro/dollar exchange rate and structural changes following the sale or closure of companies such as the London arm of Arnold Worldwide Partners, 75 per cent of which was sold to management this year.

Havas’s second-quarter organic growth in the UK was up 2.3 per cent on last year, but growth for the first half of 2004 was flat with a one per cent decline.

Growth excluding acquisitions was most prominent in Latin America, where Havas increased its business in the first half of 2004 by 13.4 per cent on the same period last year.

Havas chairman Alain de Pouzilhac said the figures confirmed that the company’s strategic reorganisation, which took place a year ago, was on the ‘right track’.

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