The pounds 11 million one-off windfall from Lopex
boosted earnings after exceptionals by 204 per cent to 4.
The 120p a share bid, which values Lopex at about pounds 67 million, represents a 39 per cent premium over the all-share offer made by Incepta on July 1.
Analysts pointed out that even if it lost out to Havas Incepta would walk away with a pounds 12 million profit on the Lopex shares it has already bought at between 30p and 40p each.
Lopex chief executive Mr Peter Thomas said Incepta's offer had flushed out ten other interested parties, but Havas was able to move quickly as it had previously run a ruler over the company.
9 per cent stake in Lopex
at an average of 37p a share, Incepta has to decide whether to launch a more expensive bid or take the money and run.
Incepta chief executive, Mr David Wright, said he had hoped to announce a recommended offer next week after meeting Lopex directors on Monday.
Lopex is slightly smaller than Incepta, employs just under 900 people, and has a comprehensive regional network of offices including Birmingham - where its Grayling public relations subsidiary has an operation.
The Sunday Telegraph: Land Securities (long-term hold), Tilbury Douglas (buy), Clinical Computing (buy), Charlton Athletic (worth a punt), Taylor Nelson (cash-in gains), Lopex
(buy), Hercules Property Services (buy), Belhaven Brewery Group (now wellwort h a punt).