Q2 Organic Revenue Up 5.4% at Havas

BOSTON Leveraging a strong new-business performance, Havas today reported first-half organic revenue growth of 4.4 percent to approximately $1 billion, including a 5.4 percent Q2 organic revenue improvement, compared to the same period a year ago.

Organic revenue factors out the impact of acquisitions and fluctuations in exchange rates. In constant currency terms, the Paris-based holding company’s first-half revenue was basically flat.

The company said it has won nearly $1.7 billion in net new business so far this year, almost $1 billion of that in Q2. Wins in 2007 include Coldwell Banker, Dell Computer, Kraft Foods, Reckitt Benckiser and Volvo.

Also during the quarter, Havas’ chairman Vincent Bolloré came up short in his fourth attempt in a year to place two associates on the board of U.K.-based competitor Aegis Group. Bolloré is also Aegis’ largest single shareholder.

Bolloré has said he wishes to combine the media operations of Aegis and Havas’ MPG. (Havas also owns Arnold and Euro RSCG.)

Though its gains were modest, Havas to some extent upstaged its leading French rival, Publicis Groupe, which today reported weak first-half and Q2 numbers owing to client losses and some cancelled healthcare campaigns.