Havas’ Q3 Organic Growth Slows to 1.5%

BOSTON Beleaguered by a rough North American market and the loss of Dell business in Asia, Havas saw its third-quarter organic growth slow to 1.5 percent, compared to more than 9 percent in the same period a year ago.

The Paris-based holding company reported Q3 revenue of slightly less than $460 million for a 1.5 percent organic gain. By way of comparison, Havas’ rival Publicis Groupe posted a Q3 organic spike of 4 percent.

Ad spending cuts in the tourism and banking sectors in North America precipitated a $20 million Q3 revenue dip in that market to $142 million. In Asia, revenue fell to $19 million, off $5 million from Q3 in 2007.
 
So far this year, Havas’ global revenue has risen nearly 6 percent in organic terms to almost $1.5 billion.

Havas said its 11-12 percent ’08 operating margin goal remains intact.

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In a separate development, the company said it has consolidated its U.K. media holdings under the banner of Havas Media UK, with MPG managing partner Mark Craze serving as CEO.

The new group covers the firm’s chief media buying unit MPG, as well as Havas Sports, communications agency Arena BLM, Cake (a PR shop) and Archibald Ingall Stretton (a digital agency).

Havas said the consolidation was driven by the desire to offer integrated services under a single entity.

(Related: “The Squeeze Is On as Agencies Cut Budgets.”)