Softness in Europe Adds to Havas’ Revenue Doldrums

Havas, hit hard by worsening economic conditions in Europe and in marketing services, said fourth-quarter revenue dropped nearly 7 percent to $557.4 million from the same period in 2001. For all of 2002, Havas’ revenue fell 6 percent to $2.15 billion from 2001.

The Paris-based holding company, parent to the Arnold, Euro RSCG and Media Planning agency networks, said that while there was some improvement in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, the full year reflected the industry’s weak market conditions. Revenue in North America dipped more than 7 percent to $938 million, compared with 2001. Havas is not releasing full earnings until March 6.

“We begin the new year with a sense of caution and confidence, reinforced by changes in management, the appointment of Bob Schmetterer as president and COO [of Havas], the rise of a new generation of talented managers … and various initiatives we have taken to make the group even more competitive,” said Havas CEO Alain de Pouzilhac in a statement.

North America posted the greatest shortfall in organic growth for Havas, with revenue in fourth-quarter 2002 down 7 percent over 2001, to $940 million. Revenue in Europe fell 6 percent to $1 billion. Asia grew by 5 percent to $82.3 million, and Latin America increased 0.5 percent to $72.5 million.

—David Gianatasio and Noreen O’Leary