WPP Set to Post Profit of £395m for 2002

24 February 2003

The leakage brigade and the clairvoyant tendency joined forces this weekend to scoop WPP Group’s latest vital statistics.

It seems the globe’s largest agency holding company will today (Monday) announce a pre-tax full year profit for 2002 of £395 million ($624.07m; €580.99m) on revenues of £3.9 billion. If correct, this equates to earnings-per share of £0.242 compared with £0.306 in 2001 – a decline of 20.9%.

And for rewrite fans, here is an entrail-raker’s creative interpretation of what is largely common knowledge.

In a research note issued Friday, WestLBPanmure analyst Jonathan Helliwell opined: “We expect the organic revenue declines to continue to ease in the fourth quarter, but remain negative.”

He then materialized some statistical ectoplasm. “While 0% to 2% top line still looks achievable,” he opined, “we expect the first quarter to have been slow, hit by advertiser hesitation ahead of events in the Middle East."

Which – excluding Helliwell’s predictive tolerance of +/- several zillion per cent – is pretty much what Sir Martin Sorrell has been telling the world over the last several weeks.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff