Havas posts flat growth for third quarter as UK media business recedes

Havas chief executive Yannick Bolloré

Havas has reported a 0.1% increase in organic revenue for its third quarter, with the UK experiencing a 10.9% dip that’s affected its media business in the region.

In Europe, Havas posted a 4.7% drop in organic growth, with the UK, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Portugal taking the hardest hit.

“Europe remained in negative growth over the quarter,” said Yannick Bolloré, Havas Group chief executive, in a statement. “There are many factors at work, foremost among them reduced spending by most of our clients or a change of management in certain countries, such as in our UK media agency.”

According to Havas, spending by major clients including Unilever or Pernod Ricard continued to fall in the UK last quarter, with the impact falling heaviest on the media business. Last month, Havas Media Group UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Frampton announced his plans to leave the company. The Drum understands that Havas Media Group UK has entered into consultation for roughly 40 roles, although the company had not confirmed that number at the time of writing.

Outside of Europe, all other regions posted organic revenue gains. The agency said its growth in North America over the third quarter was “due in large part to the turnaround at Arnold and the performance of Havas New York, particularly in its healthcare business.” Havas San Francisco recently won work for healthcare brands including BioMarin and Sutter Health.

Both Boston-based Arnold and Havas New York have experienced leadership changes in the past quarter. Icaro Doria joined Arnold in September as chief creative officer after serving in the same role at DDB New York, and Harry Bernstein was named chief creative officer of Havas New York in September after the agency acquired his digital shop The 88.

In APAC and Africa, Havas said growth was largely bolstered by increased spending by recently won clients such as Glaxosmithkline, Swarovski or LG, whereas growth in Latin America was “largely thanks to the media business.”

Get The Drum Newsletter

Build your marketing knowledge by choosing from daily news bulletins or a weekly special.