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Europe helps Aegis boost revenues as China shows strong growth

LONDON – Aegis said Europe has maintained its recovery as it reports that first-quarter revenues are 12.5% higher than the same period last year after increased client spending.

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Aegis said Asia Pacific was also showing strong growth, with China being the strongest contender.

Lord Colin Sharman, chairman of Aegis, said in his AGM statement: "Overall, trading in the year is in line with our expectations, with broadly based growth across the group."

US marketing spend also rose in line with expectations. While Europe was largely doing well, Aegis did say that certain parts of the region were underperforming.

Aegis said that the first three months of 2005 have been characterised by an acceleration of the trend of a switch in the allocation of budgets away from conventional broadcast and print media towards interactive and out-of-home media.

This has led to its digital agency Isobar, contributing over 13% of Aegis's media revenues in the first quarter, which it said it expects to rise for the full year and in the future.

The first quarter of 2005 Aegis said it has built up $425m (£232.6m) of new business, compared with $285m in the first quarter of 2004.

Organic growth of media revenues was 5.3%, equal to the performance in the first quarter of 2004.

Aegis' market research arm Synovate continued to perform well, increasing revenues by 12% in the first quarter.

The group said Synovate was on line to hit targets for the year with the launch of a number of new initiatives, including the creation of a global data collection facility, which should significantly bolster profit.

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