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UPDATE 1-Ad agency Havas's profit edges up, keeps dividend unchanged
March 20, 2014 / 5:50 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Ad agency Havas's profit edges up, keeps dividend unchanged

(Adds details)

PARIS, March 20 (Reuters) - French advertising agency Havas saw its profits rise slightly last year, helped by recovering markets in Europe and North America and a robust Asia, the company reported on Thursday.

The world’s sixth-largest agency kept its dividend for last year unchanged at 0.11 euros per share, and Chief Executive Yannick Bollore said in a statement the company was looking at 2014 “with serenity and enthusiasm”.

Havas has grown more slowly than larger rivals Publicis and WPP because of its exposure to recession-bound Europe, where it earns roughly half its revenue.

Net profit rose 1.6 percent to 128 million euros in 2013 on revenue up an underlying 1 percent at 1.772 billion euros.

Analysts were expecting a dividend per share of 0.13 euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S Estimates.

Havas’s largest shareholder is French tycoon Vincent Bollore with 36 percent of the capital. Bollore is also one of the largest shareholders of French telecoms-and-media group Vivendi and the vice-chairman of its board.

Havas’s share price is down 1.09 percent so far this year, giving it a market value of about 2.4 billion euros.

The stock trades at 15.34 times prospective earnings against 16.45 times for Publicis and 14.47 times for WPP, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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