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JCDecaux revenues boosted by European ad recovery

LONDON - JCDecaux, the outdoor advertising company, increased its revenues by 4.5% to €792.3m (£524.5m) in the six months to June 30 2004, boosted by a significant improvement in the European advertising market.

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Street furniture revenues for the first quarter increased 5.5% to €430.8m. The second quarter fared even better with increases of 7.7% to €233.3m.

In the UK and Portugal, which had benefited from the Euro 2004 football championship, the company recorded double-digit organic revenue growth for street furniture. Contract wins also continued to grow in double digits in the US and Asia Pacific.

In France, advertising revenues were also up, while in Germany and the Netherlands, where market conditions were difficult last year, business significantly improved.

Billboard advertising for the first half of the quarter increased by 0.2% to €215.4m and in the second quarter increased 0.7% to €119m.

The transport market has also rebounded with revenues for the first quarter up 8.1% to €146.1m. In the second quarter, revenues increased 15.1% to €81.1m

Advertising in airports remained challenging in the US and, to a lesser extent, in the UK. However, a good performance was achieved in continental European countries. Advertising in Hong Kong recovered strongly, where business is now exceeding pre-SARS levels.

Jean-Charles Decaux, chairman of the board and co-chief executive officer of JCDecaux, said: "While visibility remains short term, we are pleased that the European market is showing signs of recovery and we can confirm that we expect organic revenue growth of 3%-5% for the full year 2004."

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