Aegis Earnings Reveal Media Strongest Contributor To Growth, Continues Targeted Acquisitions

Citing "excellent results" in North America and across "faster-growing regions," Aegis Group this morning reported strong first-half results. Aegis, which has just spun off most of its Synovate research operations to Ipsos, said its organic revenues grew 7.8% excluding Synovate. Including Synovate, it said organic revenues rose 7.3% for the first half.

The earnings indicate that media services have indeed been Aegis' growth engine, and the spin-off of Synovate has sparked a new round of speculation that Aegis, the parent of media agency networks such as Carat, Isobar, Posterscope and Vizeum, might go into play as bigger agency holding companies make a run at it. Despite that speculation, Aegis continues to be buyer, not a seller of media shops, announcing a deal this morning to buy Russia out-of-home media specialist Master Ad in a deal that could be worth more than $100 million (see related news brief).

Aegis said it has spent about $106.4 million on 11 acquisitions so far this year, but said it is mainly focused on "organic growth" and long-term margin improvement from its operations.



"We have continued our focus on targeted acquisitions, extending our capabilities and positioning us in key geographies, all of which leave us well placed for future growth," stated Aegis CEO Jerry Buhlmann, noting that the spin-off of Synovate represents the "largest structural change in the history" of the company.

"Once the sale is completed, Aegis will become a more focused group, with the opportunity to accelerate further the delivery of sustainable, profitable growth, and increased financial flexibility to make targeted acquisitions," he asserted, adding a cautionary "medium term" outlook due to "macro-economic uncertainties," which were also reflected in a revised global ad spending forecast released this morning by Aegis' Carat unit (see related story).

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