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Latin America drives growth at Havas

Improved revenues in Latin America underpinned growth at Havas, the advertising and communications services group controlled by the Bolloré and Rodés families.

The Paris-based group recorded a 4.2% increase in revenues in the first half of 2010 to €729 million, compared with the same period last year. This was largely due to a 25% growth in business in Latin America as growth in Europe and North America fell 2.6% and 4.9% respectively.

Havas, which owns the Euro RSCG Worldwide advertising network, returned to profit in Q1 2010 after reporting a fall in profits of 13.4% for the full year 2009.

"Performance was penalised by Havas' weak presence in emerging markets which have high growth potential," chairman Vincent Bolloré said in a statement. "Imagine what Havas' results will be when growth in Europe and the US is stronger."

Bolloré (pictured) said the group was keen on expansion, but needed to be patient before making any acquisitions. "Havas needs to speed up its development but not by taking excessive risks," he said.

"In Asia and in the digital field acquisitions have become very expensive. We need to wait for opportunities."

Bolloré, whose son Yannick is co-president of Havas Productions, has controlled more than 30% of Havas since 2004.

Companies controlled by the Rodés family own around 2%. Second-generation family member Fernando Rodés Vilà is CEO.

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