Havas hails 'aggressive' acquisition strategy as annual profit jumps 20% | Advertising | Campaign Asia


An “aggressive” acquisition strategy and “strong” commercial performance across the board has fuelled near double-digit growth for the Vivendi-owned advertising group, Havas.

The ad agency group reported annual revenues grew by 9.2% (on a constant currency and perimeter basis) to €2.77 billion ($2.93 billion).

Organic growth was up by 6.8%, which placed it behind Publicis Groupe (10.1%), Omnicom (9.4%), Interpublic (7.0%) and WPP (6.9%).

Havas said it managed to improve its profitability despite a lower organic growth rate and higher staff costs in 2022 compared with a year earlier.

Its EBITA (profit) after restructuring charges grew by 19.7% to €286 million ($302 million) and its EBITA margin of 11% of net revenues, which is marginally higher than the 10.7% it achieved in 2021.

The two largest regional contributors Europe and North America grew by 7.6% and 5.2% respectively. Asia Pacific and Africa increased 5.8% and Latin America grew 13.6%.

Havas noted consistent growth across its three business lines of Creative (which accounts for 43% of revenue), Media (32%) and Health & You (32%).

This was partly due to organic growth, acquisitions and new business wins.

In the UK this included the Department for Education (Havas London) and Matalan (Havas Media Group).

On the acquisition front, Havas Media Group bolstered its digital, data and performance capabilities by acquiring Expert Edge, Additive+, Search Laboratory and Inviqa.

The group made eight acquisitions as part of what it called an “aggressive external growth policy”, which meant 2022 was its most acquisitive year since 2015 in terms of number of deals.

Vivendi, which also owns Canal+Group, Prisma Media and Gameloft, grew revenues by 5.1% to €9.6 billion ($10.2 billion).

Arnaud de Puyfontaine, chairman of Vivendi’s management board, said. “Havas was particularly strong in 2022, with impressive and recurring growth rates from one quarter to the next.”

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