Havas reports 13% fall in operational income

PARIS - Havas, the French advertising group and owner of Euro RSCG and MPG, has seen a 13% fall in income for the first six months of the year to €71m, compared with €82m for the same period in 2008.

Havas said that growth had slowed in the UK and southern Europe, although France had seen positive growth in the second quarter.

Outside Europe, Havas said that "exposure to certain sectors, finance in particular" in North America had hit its results, while growth was strong in Latin America. Organic growth was down by 9.8% overall.

Earlier this year, Havas chairman Vincent Bollore said that he expected a maximum fall in organic growth of 10% for the year, but yesterday's results carried no further guidance on the outlook for the rest of the year.

Revenue for the group stood at €700m, down 7.4%, from €755m, for the same period in 2008.

The company started the year with the loss of the Carrefour account, reportedly worth $1bn to Havas, but it said that it had won €813m worth of new business in the first half of 2009, including Jacobs Creek worldwide and Clarks Shoes.

This figure, which surpasses its 2008 half-year average, does not include the most recent wins, Heineken in the US, AXA in the UK and Coty in France.

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