Havas Sees 4.4% Organic Slide in Q4

Havas today reported fourth-quarter worldwide revenue of $574 million, which represents a 4.4 percent drop in organic terms compared to the same period a year ago, excluding the impact of factors such as currency fluctuations and acquisitions.

Despite the dip, the Paris-based holding company claimed a victory of sorts, noting that the decline was notably less than in its previous three quarters and boasting of a generally “strong” performance in the closing three months of 2009.

Havas’ Q4 showing generally beat analysts estimates, as a drop of about 6.5 percent had been expected.

Another upbeat sign: the firm posted nearly flat North American revenue for Q4 compared to a dip of about 8 percent in the third quarter.

In organic terms, Havas’ revenue fell 8.4 percent, 9.8 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively, in the first three quarters of 2009. Its numbers throughout the year have generally been in line with those of its competitors, which have all suffered to varying degrees during the global economic downturn.

Overall, Havas’ full-year revenue was down about 8 percent to slightly less than $2 billion. The company did not report its net income today.

Havas is the parent of the Euro RSCG, Arnold and MPG agency networks.