Havas Group posts 10% fall in Q3 organic net revenue

It is an improvement on Q2.

EDF: works with Havas London
EDF: works with Havas London

Havas Group's organic net revenue declined 10.4% year on year to €472m (£420m) over the third quarter of the year, showing that the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on agency businesses. 

However, this was a significant improvement on the second quarter when the agency group, which is owned by French media company Vivendi, had an 18.3% drop.

Earlier this week, Interpublic Group reported organic revenue decline of 3.7% and Publicis Groupe's last week revealed a 5.6% drop. 

"The advertising market is picking up, albeit to different degrees depending on the region and sector, even if it remains highly volatile," the company said in its latest financial results, which were released this week.

Havas noted that all regions improved performance in Q3 compared with Q2, with North America continuing to "hold up well, thanks to a resilient market and growth in health and wellness communications".

In Europe, overall performance improved "under the impetus of both the Creative and Media businesses" though there were contrasting results between countries, the report explained.

The report added: "Havas Group is stepping up its efforts, initiated at the outset of the crisis, to adjust its organisation and cost structure to limit the impact of falling revenues on EBITA [profit before exceptional items].

"As a result of this agility, the pay-off from the cost adjustment plan will enable Havas Group to absorb over half of the decline in its revenues over full-year 2020 (before restructuring charges)."

Havas works with clients including Telefonica, Durex, EDF and Carling. 

Vivendi reported its Q3 results on 20 October when it also announced a stock market flotation for its subsidiary Universal Music Group in 2022 that should generate a cash windfall for the owner of Havas.