Havas increased organic revenues by 4.5% in the third quarter, thanks to “spectacular” growth in Latin America, and claimed it was likely to be among the “best in class” versus its global peers.
The Vivendi-owned agency group, the smallest of the “big six” groups, had growth in every region.
Europe was up 1.5%, North America 3.0% and Asia Pacific 2.0%. LatAm surged 51.1%, which Havas credited to its strong market position and management in the region and its long legacy in media buying.
“We are very satisfied, especially given the macro-economic environment, which is not great,” Yannick Bolloré, the chief executive of Havas and chairman of the supervisory board of Vivendi, told Campaign, adding he was “confident” about the outlook for the rest of 2023.
“When I look at the result of our peers, we are best in class. Publicis is slightly higher than us at 5.3%, Omnicom is below [at 3.3%] and I guess IPG and WPP will be below [both companies will report Q3 financials after Havas, but they previously lowered their guidance at their Q2 results].
“So given the circumstances, we can be super-satisfied with these results. We have growth in every region in this quarter.”
He added client satisfaction has been “great” and new business has been “good” at the French agency group.
Wins have included Shell’s global media account – a move which has led to criticism and protests by environmental campaigners who have targeted Havas – and global creative work for Danone.
Bolloré insisted he was happy to take on Shell and noted much of Havas’ work for the energy client will focus on supporting the rollout of a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Havas also pointed to the “rapid pace” of acquisitions, which included buying a 51% stake in Uncommon Creative Studio in July. The London shop has just announced it is opening in New York as part of an expansion plan.
For the first nine months of 2023, Havas' revenues were €2bn (£1.75bn). That was a 4.3% organic increase after the deduction of pass-through costs.
Havas has more than 100 employees in Israel, and Bolloré said last week that “our deepest thoughts” are with them, following the attack on the country by Hamas on 7 October.