Aegis predicts 2004 adspend growth

Aegis Media is predicting growth in European adspend during 2004, while unveiling increased revenues and profits for 2003.

The media and market research group, which runs the Carat and Vizeum media networks, announced revenues that were up 9.6 per cent to £649 million.

Profits rose 12.7 per cent to £80.5 million.

Turnover in its media division, Aegis Media, rose 15 per cent to £6.9 billion. However, it experienced a significant fall in new-business wins from $1.5 billion in 2002 to $728 million in 2003 and margins in media buying were under pressure, declining by 0.2 per cent to 6.2 per cent in 2003.

Aegis predicted that 2004 would see European adspend grow by 4 per cent and the US market by 5.3 per cent. It said that the advertising recession was largely over in Europe but France and Germany were likely to recover at a slower rate.

Carat Europe's new-business wins fell from $585 million in 2002 to $271 million. However, Aegis said that the network was in a "strong position" despite the departure of the Aegis Media Europe chief executives, Eryck Rebbouh and Bruno Kemoun.

Aegis said that it would expand its Vizeum network, which was launched in Europe last year, to the US and Asia-Pacific during 2004.

Doug Flynn, the chief executive of Aegis Group, said: "Given the improving market conditions, we are optimistic that Aegis will see further improvements to its financial performance over the coming year."

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