UPDATE 1-Havas' sales growth accelerates, beats bigger rivals

Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:48am EDT

(Adds details, recasts)

PARIS Aug 29 (Reuters) - French advertising agency Havas saw organic sales growth accelerate in the second quarter to hit 8 percent compared with the same period last year, outperforming larger rivals such as Omnicom and WPP.

First-half net profit grew 6.9 percent to 62 million euros ($81.7 million) thanks in part to double-figure revenue growth in the United Kingdom, Asia Pacific and Africa regions.

Second-quarter revenue stood at 478 million euros, ahead of UBS analysts' forecast for sales of 463 million euros, helped by new contracts with companies including Disney and Barclays.

Havas Shares were up 2.7 percent to 6.21 euros at 1534 GMT, compared with a 0.8 percent drop in Europe's media index .

Chief Executive Yannick Bollore said the company was looking forward to the second half of the year "with confidence."

(1 US dollar = 0.7585 euro) (Reporting by Leila Abboud and Andrew Callus; Editing by James Regan and Mark Potter)

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