Havas UK revenue growth slows in Q1

Yannick Bolloré: chief executive of Havas
Yannick Bolloré: chief executive of Havas

Havas' UK revenue declined by 0.5% year on year to €60m in the first three months of 2017, although it rose slightly on an organic basis, as the group's global revenue rose 2.6% year on year to €519m.

When Havas’ figures are adjusted for the impact of exchange rates and acquisitions, the UK reported organic revenue growth of 0.5% during the quarter, which Havas attributed to healthcare specialists Havas Medicom, healthcare arm Havas Lynx, All Response Media and PR shop Maitland.

In its results for the first three months of 2017, Havas said the UK agencies "pulled out all the stops this quarter, winning the business of such high-profile brands as Rolls-Royce, Beats, Carling and Thornton's chocolate".

Organic revenue growth of 0.5% represents a slight slowdown from 2016 when Havas’ reported organic revenue growth of 1.3% year on year.

Overall Havas’ revenue was "stable" in Europe but this masked a slight decline in the continent outside France and the UK, which Havas attributed to a "high baseline" in the first quarter of 2016, particularly in Spain.

Havas said after a "spurt in growth" at the end of 2016 its North American business "settled into a more moderate pace of growth" in the first three months of 2017, while Asia-Pacific and Africa reported the weakest performance in the period.

Globally Havas reported organic revenue growth of 0.1% year on year in the first three months of 2017.

Yannick Bolloré, chairman and chief executive of Havas, said: "Our main regions performed satisfactorily, with the exception of certain countries in Europe and Asia Pacific that saw a slight reduction in business, largely as a result of reduced spending by certain clients.

"We remain confident in group performance over the quarters ahead, thanks to a number of factors: we are working on a strategic agreement with GIMC, China's leading advertising group, which will significantly strengthen our service offering in this key market and ultimately improve our performance in Asia Pacific.

"The commercial drive of our teams all over the world has already been reflected in major new client wins."

In March Havas dismantled Havas Creative Group and Havas Media Group as separate divisions and transformed them into business units under regional P&Ls. Havas Creative Group chief executive of Europe Chris Hirst is the chairman of the UK.

Today Bolloré said: "The reorganisation initiated at the beginning of this year is also helping us to better respond to clients' needs. And our clients, along with our teams all over the world, have welcomed this client-centric model that goes even further in breaking down silos to provide a service that is ever more agile, seamless and integrated."

Havas forecast organic growth of 2 to 3% for the full-year 2017.

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