Havas, the Paris-based advertising holding company, reported that first-quarter revenues totaled approximately $511 million, up 7.2%. Organic growth -- which excludes acquisitions and currency fluctuations -- was lower, coming in at 3.5%, the company said.
By comparison, crosstown rival Publicis Groupe reported revenue growth of 13% to $1.9 billion for the same period, with organic growth of 4.1%.
Havas CEO David Jones said one highlight for the quarter was the company’s ability to achieve more than 5% revenue growth in France, where the total was $106 million, “given what remains an uncertain economic environment in Europe.”
Indeed, revenues were down 2.8% throughout the rest of the Continent to $91 million. Business was also down slightly in the UK (reported separately from Europe) where revenues totaled about $58 million, versus roughly $57 million a year ago.
The numbers were better in North America, where the company achieved a 9.1% revenue spurt to $180 million, with organic growth of 3.6%.
The company also achieved higher growth on a percentage basis throughout much of the rest of the world, albeit from a lower revenue base. In Latin America, for example, organic revenue growth jumped 12.4% to $41 million. In Asia-Pacific and Africa, revenues totaled $36 million with organic growth of 12.2%.
For the quarter, net new business was up nearly 58% to $800 million compared to the first quarter of 2011. Wins included Sony PlayStation for the Americas, and HBO and Burger King for the UK.
“All disciplines contributed to our performance, including a continued acceleration in digital,” said Jones.