Aegis sees signs of recovery in 2002
LONDON - Lord Sharman, chairman of the media-buying group Aegis, has told shareholders that the group sees signs of recovery among advertisers, particularly in North America.
Speaking at its AGM today he said that the group, which owns the Carat media-planning and buying network, remains cautiously optimistic that 2002 will "prove to be a satisfactory year".
Lord Sharman said: "In North America, we see some small signs of recovering confidence among advertisers, although this has yet to result in any significant recovery in media spending."
He said that market research spending was showing modest improvement and this, together with the cost reductions implemented last year, was helping to reverse the pressure on margins Aegis felt on its US market research business in 2001.
His comments about Europe were less positive, where he said there had been no sign of recovery yet. Latin America, he said, remained "difficult", while signs were positive in Asia Pacific.
Shares in the group plunged 4.8%, or 5.5p, this morning to trade at 110.5p.
Aegis has been the subject of constant take over speculation with both Omnicom and French Group Havas being seen as possible buyers.
However, its robust chief executive Doug Flynn has always insisted that Aegis would seek to remain independent.
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