According to a leak trailing today's release of WPP Group's H1 numbers, Sir Martin Sorrell' has tuned his crystal ball to its UK wavelength accompanied by wails of "woe, thrice woe!"

Indeed, according to the Media Guardian, the adland sage compares Britain's advertising outlook for the remainder of this year as "mucky" compared with the rest of Western Europe.

Linguistic purists, reaching for their Thesaurus, regard a word meaning "dirty, filthy, grimy, muddy, grubby, messy, soiled, stained or smeary" as a curious synonym for "disappointing". However, such is the way with gurus striving for headlines.

The UK is likely to be one of the group's worst performing markets during the first half of 2006, says the prescient newspaper, which also predicts that Sorrell will this morning announce that the nation's prospects - or rather those of WPP's UK units - for the rest of the year are equally gloomy.

The worldwide picture, however, is far rosier. WPP is expected to report H1 global operating profits in excess of £355 million ($672.37m; €522.43m) versus marginally less than £300m last year, on revenues exceeding £2.75bn. Sir Martin is also expected to announce an extension of the group's share buyback programme.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff