Havas, the Paris-based advertising holding company, reported first-half revenues of just over $1.1 billion, up 5% -- with a 10% gain in consolidated net income to $80 million.
The company reported organic revenue growth of 5.6%, which was low compared to the other holding companies for the same period. Publicis Groupe, for example, reported 7.1% organic growth for the first half. The comparable figures for Interpublic Group and Omnicom were 6.8% and 6.2%, respectively. And last week, WPP reported organic growth for the period of 6.2%.
For the North American region, Havas reported revenues of $364 million, up about 3% from the same period a year ago. Organic growth -- which excludes acquisitions, asset sales and currency fluctuations -- was stronger for the region, exceeding 8%, the company said.
For Europe, revenues were up 2% to $586 million, with organic growth of 1.3%. Revenues for the other geographic regions were up a combined 23% to $154 million. Organic growth was up a combined 18.2%.
Havas Media accounted for 31% of the company's revenue for the first six months of the year, up just slightly from the 30% attributed to the unit for the same period in 2010.
The company reported a number of new wins for the period, with total billings of nearly $1.4 billion. New assignments came from Dell, Pfizer, Unilever and others.
Company CEO David Jones stated: "Havas had a good first-half 2011. We delivered solid improvements in profitability," with strong organic growth in certain regions like North America and the Asia Pacific region.
"Our dedicated efforts to improve operational efficiencies have borne fruit and debt reduction has proceeded apace," he said. The company's net debt was approximately $152 million at the end of the first half, down from $186 million a year ago.
Havas, Jones added, "now has a strong balance sheet structure and is in a good position to capitalize on new growth opportunities," such as the company's July purchase of a controlling stake in Australian agency Host. At the same time, Jones said the company is well positioned to "respond to any changes driven by economic uncertainty."