14 Percent Q2 Revenue Rise for Grey

BOSTON Grey Global Group said its second-quarter revenue increased nearly 14 percent to $364 million compared with the same period a year ago, while revenue for the first six months of 2004 increased about 15 percent to $707 million.

On a constant currency basis, revenue was up about 7 percent for both the quarter and six-month period.

Separately, Brookside Capital Partners, a major institutional shareholder, halved its stake in Grey to 3.7 percent as the holding company awaits potential bidders to complete financial due diligence. Brookside retains 42,395 shares of Grey Global common stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its stake in Grey had been about 7 percent.

In a statement, Grey attributed its quarterly growth to improvement in both North American and international operations, as well as the continued impact of the weak dollar.

The New York-based holding company, currently up for sale, reported net income of $10.8 million for the quarter, more than double the $4.7 million it recorded in Q2 last year. Net income for the first six months was $17 million, compared with $10 million for the same period a year ago, an increase of about 70 percent.

Diluted earnings per common share were $7.62 for the quarter and $12.12 so far in 2004, improvements over the $3.07 and $6.19 figures reported a year ago, Grey said.

Havas is conducting due-diligence research on a potential acquisition of Grey, sources said, as is its larger rival, WPP Group [Adweek, Aug. 9]. Sources said Quadrangle Group in New York and other undisclosed investors are helping Paris-based Havas finance a possible deal.