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Havas revenues fall 19% as reorganisation is unveiled

PARIS – French advertising giant Havas has seen a 19% drop in revenues for the first half of the year to €835.6m, partly due to what it called a 'strong deterioration' in the UK market.

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Havas also blamed the falls on the strength of the euro, and the ongoing effects of the Iraq war and the Sars outbreak.

The company said today that its traditional advertising and media companies saw a decline in revenue of only 1.8% compared with the first half of last year, but that other marketing services companies were harder hit, with a fall of 11.4% for the period.

Geographically, there was an 11.1% decline to €418.9m in Europe, while North American revenues for the first half were down by 2.3% to €361.2m.

At the same time, Havas announced a reorganisation that will see all of the company's agencies fall under one of three divisions: Euro RSCG Worldwide, to service the group's global clients; Arnold Worldwide, as an alternative creative network offered only in key markets; and MPG, for traditional media, marketing services and data-driven interactivity.

Havas has already been rebranding agencies under the Euro RSCG name, which will become its only global agency network. MPG is to embark on a plan of global expansion, with Havas saying it is committed to making it a top-five global competitor within a year.

Alain de Pouzilhac, chairman and CEO of Havas, said: "During the last six months Bob Schmetterer and I have analysed, on the one hand, the evolution and needs of our clients and of our market and, on the other hand, how to enable Havas to greatly improve the growth of its revenue and profits."

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