Havas continued its gradual recovery in the final three months of 2020 as its organic net revenue declined by 7.5% year on year.
The single-digit decline is an improvement on the 10.4% drop in the third quarter and 18.3% fall between April and the end of June and puts Havas in the middle of the holding groups to have reported so far—below Publicis Groupe and Interpublic but ahead of Omnicom and Dentsu.
Havas, which is part of the entertainment giant Vivendi, said that “under the impetus of both the creative and media businesses”, Europe reported an overall stronger performance, although with contrasting results between countries. It did not provide further details.
Across the year Havas Group’s net revenues were €2.05 billion ($2.47 billion), down 9.2%, and organic growth was down 9.9% compared to 2019.
Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation were €121 million ($146 million), down 46% on 2019.
Havas said its cost adjustment plan enabled it to “absorb more than 50% of the decline in revenues” over 2020 (excluding restructuring charges).
Publicis Groupe’s organic revenue declined just 3.4% in the final three months of 2020 and it is paying back salary sacrifices taken by staff. Interpublic’s organic net revenue decline was 5.4%.
Organic revenue declined by 9.6% at Omnicom in the fourth quarter of 2020. Dentsu International, which houses Dentsu’s businesses operating outside of Japan, reported its revenues declined by 13.2% in the final three months of the year.
Across 2020, Dentsu International’s annual revenues slumped by 13% on an organic basis, Interpublic reported a 4.8% annual organic revenue drop and Publicis Groupe’s organic revenue fell 6.3% in the same period.
WPP will report its results next week (11 March).