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Strong growth in Asia buoys flat Havas balance sheet

Havas CEO, Yannick Bolloré (centre, suited) visits Host Singapore offices this month

Havas CEO Yannick Bolloré (centre, suited) visited the Singapore offices of Host, which is majority owned by Havas, earlier this month

Havas, the world’s sixth largest ad agency holding company, has reported 17.5 revenue growth in its Asia Pacific operations in the last quarter of 2013.

Strong growth in the region came off the back of new business wins including LG Electronics and Emirates accounts in media, Danone in digital and CRM and Australian Defence Force Recruiting in digital and advertising.

However, globally, the group – which owns creative agencies Havas Worldwide and Host, and media agency Havas Media – recorded just one per cent organic growth for the full year 2013, and 1.6 per cent for Q4 2013. And on an unadjusted basis, full-year growth in 2013 was down 1.1 per cent.

Consolidated group revenue in 2013 was €1,772 million (US$2,426 million) for the full year and €514 million (US$704 million) for the fourth quarter.

Source: the company

Source: the company

Yannick Bolloré, Havas CEO, said: “We ended 2013 with growth of 1.6%, which represents a significant acceleration over our growth rate in Q1 2013. This improvement was underpinned by solid performances in Europe and sustained growth in Asia Pacific.”

“Our North America business is recovering, with a new team in place and increased commercial momentum. The level of new business, both globally and locally, is highly encouraging, with wins including Dove (Unilever), Total, Emirates, LG Electronics, LVMH, as well as Dish, Liberty Mutual and Green Mountain Keurig.”

The financial results emerge just a few months after Havas changed the name of its agencies, dropping Euro RSCG in favour of Havas Worldwide, and  MPG and Media Contacts for Havas Media, in a move towards the greater integration of its agencies.

Bolloré added: “We pursued our strategy of integrating our creative, media and digital teams in 2013. New Havas Villages have recently been inaugurated in New York and Singapore. Deploying this new, client-centric organization makes us more agile, more innovative and quicker to respond to the changes taking place in our industry.”

“I am impressed and delighted by the winning spirit shown by our teams, and would like to thank them for their unflagging commitment. We head into 2014 with dynamism and serenity, and we maintain our internal targets of organic growth above that achieved in 2013,” he said.

Havas will publish its 2013 annual results on 20 March.

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