Aegis Group Reports Net New Biz Decline

Aegis Group today reported a sharp decline in total net new business for the first nine months of 2010. The London-based media-agency holding company said net new business through September totaled $1.6 billion, down about 33 percent from $2.4 billion during the same period in 2009.

But the company said that new-business performance improved in the third quarter with a 30 percent gain in assignments for a total of $650 million. It cited Diageo and Red Bull in North America and Anheuser-Busch InBev in the U.K., among other wins.

And the underlying growth picture continues to improve, Aegis said. In organic terms, factoring out the impact of acquisitions and currency fluctuations, Q3 revenue rose nearly 10 percent vs. a year ago — and more than 5 percent for the first nine months of 2010. By comparison, viewed in organic terms, the company’s revenue dipped nearly 11 percent for the first nine months of ’09.

Total revenue for the third quarter was up nearly 9 percent, and improved more than 4 percent for the first nine months, the company said. A year ago, Aegis reported nine-month revenue growth of just 1 percent. (The company did not provide actual numbers, just the percentage changes.)

Company CEO Jerry Buhlmann said market conditions remain hard to predict. “Short-term visibility in a number of key regions remains relatively low,” he said. “However, we are seeing increasingly positive signs of confidence from our clients regarding their short-term advertising expenditure plans, supporting our cautiously optimistic outlook for next year.”