By Gwénaëlle Barzic
PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - French advertising holding company Havas achieved 3.5 percent organic sales growth on revenue of 551 million euros in the fourth quarter, finishing a strong year driven by new contract wins and strength in Britain and emerging markets.
For 2014 as a whole, organic sales growth was 5.1 percent on revenues of 1.87 billion euros ($2.13 billion), in line with analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The sixth-largest advertising agency by revenue grew faster last year than larger French rival Publicis which grew 2 percent. U.S. rival Omnicom achieved 5.9 percent growth, helped by greater exposure to the healthy North American market.
“We think this positive dynamic will continue in 2015,” Havas Chief Executive Yannick Bollore said on a conference call.
The market consensus is for Havas to grow at about 3 to 4 percent this year, which is in line with the company’s expectations at this stage, he said.
Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: ($1 = 0.8780 euros) (Additional reporting by Andrew Callus; Writing by Leila Abboud. Editing by Jane Merriman)