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