Havas Group today reported organic revenue growth for the first quarter of 7.1%, with nearly 21% revenue growth overall to 469 million euros or about $525 million at today’s exchange rates.
By comparison, the similarly sized MDC Partners last week reported organic growth of 7.4% and used its earnings announcement to disclose a major and ongoing SEC investigation looking at the company’s accounting procedures and trading activity. CEO Miles Nadal has already agreed to repay $8.6 million in red-flagged expenses as the investigation continues.
Havas, however, did not disclose anything today but numbers related to the first quarter -- and the numbers looked pretty good, especially in North America where organic revenue growth was 10.2% and an overall revenue increase of 37%.
There were strong performances in North America, the company said, by Havas Life, Havas Worldwide Chicago, Arnold and Havas Media, which won both Safelite and Sleepy’s during the period.
Havas noted that currency fluctuations had a positive impact of 40 million euros, or about $45 million on reported revenue for the quarter. Organic growth excludes those fluctuations along with acquisitions and divestitures.
Organic growth in the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions combined was 10.1%, while the comparable figure for Latin America was 5.4%.
Net new business for the period was nearly $580 million on an annualized billings basis.
Commenting on the results, Havas CEO Yannick Bollore acknowledged that “falling oil prices and a weaker euro are undoubtedly stimulating growth.” But he also said “this performance is testimony to the effectiveness of the strategic measures taken by the group over the last two years.”
Specifically, a second media network -- Arena Media -- “has gone from strength to strength winning a host of new clients,” Bollore said. And the company has launched a new third media network, Forward Media, serving Latin America and Europe.