Another ad holding company, Havas Group, part of Vivendi, has reported first-quarter financial results.
With a 3.3% organic revenue decline, the company said performance over the quarter reflected the “initial impact” of the pandemic while warning the second quarter will “undoubtedly be affected” by the crisis.
Interpublic Group and Publicis Groupe provided similar messages earlier this month when reporting Q1 results. IPG CEO Michael Roth opined that Q2 may be the worst quarter of the year with recovery perhaps starting in late Q3. But pretty much everybody at this point (including Roth) says it is difficult to forecast with precision business performance for the rest of the year, given the unpredictability of the crisis and when it will ease.
My guess is we’ll hear similar pronouncements later this week, when Omnicom, WPP and MDC Partners are scheduled to report Q1 results.
Havas’ first-quarter net revenues were up 1% to €507 million ($549 million). The company’s North America region held up best with 4.9% organic growth in the period. All other regions were down, Europe faring worst, with a nearly 10% drop.
The company noted the first two months of the quarter performed as expected, with March taking the biggest hit.
And like the other groups, Havas said it is “adjusting its operating costs” while it monitors consumer behavior to help clients as they recalibrate their marketing strategies.