Havas Q2 organic growth accelerates to 6.3%

—All regions performing well as parent company Vivendi praises ad group’s direction—

By Daniel Farey-Jones

French holding company Havas has delivered a strong second quarter with organic growth in net revenues accelerating to 6.3% from 1.9% in the first three months of the year.

Havas, which closed a deal to buy a majority stake in Uncommon Creative Studio earlier this month, achieved the rise despite a tough comparison of 11.5% growth in Q2 of 2022.

The company attributed the growth to its Health&You and Media divisions. All geographical regions posted solid organic performances, with growth of 3.4% in Europe, 5.5% in North America, and 7.6% in Asia-Pacific. Latin America continued its strong growth trajectory with a 30.4% increase.

This time last year, Chris Hirst, the global chief executive of Havas Creative Group, exited in a surprise move and Havas handed oversight of its creative division to Donna Murphy, the global chief executive of Health&You.

In addition to Uncommon, Havas has acquired three agencies since the start of the year: Noise in Canada, HRZN in Germany, and Pivot Roots in India.

The Havas parent company, Vivendi, which also owns entertainment and gaming businesses, reported overall organic growth of 3.2% to €4.7bn (£4.02bn) for the first half. It credited Havas with driving much of the growth.

Vivendi’s earnings before interest, tax and amortisation for the period came in at €444m (£388m), an increase of 7.7% on the previous year.

“Our group achieved very good operating performances in the first half of the year, with an acceleration of our growth (+4.2%) during the second quarter,” said Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chief executive of Vivendi, in a statement accompanying the results. “These results demonstrate the strong resilience of our businesses and our ability to reinvent ourselves in the face of changes in our environment. Havas’s Health&You and Media divisions, in particular, excelled.”

“Vivendi is steadfastly pursuing its internationalisation strategy and strengthening its position as a leading global player in culture and entertainment,” added Yannick Bolloré, chairman of Vivendi and chief executive of Havas.

Vivendi also provided an update on its planned takeover of French media group Lagardère, which owns publishing company Hachette. To comply with regulatory requirements, it has agreed to sell its own publishing company, Editis, and a magazine called Gala, and said it is confident of completing these sales by October.

This story originally appeared at Campaign UK