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Publicis and Havas expect decline

PARIS - The two French advertising giants Havas Advertising and Publicis Groupe are expected to reflect the tough advertising market, as both publish their third-quarter results later this week.

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Publicis is due to publish its results today and is expected to report that billings have fallen 2% for the quarter, according to analysts. This excludes its acquisition of Saatchi & Saatchi, completed last September.

Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said, "The most recently published forecasts suggest further deterioration of world advertising markets in the second half of this year, followed by weak growth in 2002."

Havas, which posted a first-half loss in October leading to a decline in the value of media shares, is expected to show a decline of 5% in sales for the quarter. Its results are out on Wednesday.

At the time of its first-half results, Havas, which owns the Euro RSCG advertising network, said it was cutting its profit margin from 15% to between 10% and 12%.

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