WPP: Grapevine Reports Auspicious H1 Fiscal Runes

18 August 2003

Remember prehistory? The time when dinosaurs ruled the earth and a company’s period accounts were released on a date notified in advance? And the world waited with bated breath until then to learn which way the dice had fallen?

No longer. Today we live in the fast lane of the information superhighway when the leaks, orchestrated or otherwise, start well before the tablet is handed down from the empyrean regions.

Thus it came to pass that the UK Sunday Telegraph this weekend was able to report that “analysts expect WPP Group to report flat revenues for the first half of the year”.

But according to the Telegraph and The Times, the entrail-rakers are pleasantly surprised at this turn of events as WPP “had budgeted for a dip in the six-month period followed by a slight upturn in the second half”.

Furthermore the prescient media are able to report that ceo Sir Martin Sorrell “is expected to say that 2003 remains a tough year but that recovery will come in 2004”. [Which, of course, is exactly what Sir Martin has been saying for the past eighteen months.]

The results, due to be announced Friday Aug 22, will be the first financial statement issued since WPP acquired Cordiant Communications on August 1.

WPP is also “likely to confirm this week” that it will receive £75 million from Publicis Groupe for the 25% stake held by Cordiant in global media network ZenithOptimedia [WAMN: 12-Aug-03].

Data sourced from: Telegraph.co.uk, Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff