WPP Group saw its shares slide on Friday after chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell warned its growth targets were in jeopardy both this year and next.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference last week, Sorrell cautioned: “Overall our target is still growth [in earnings per share] of 15% to 20%, although this is going to be very, very difficult, in the context of what has happened, in 2001 and 2002.”

The statement prompted a 2.9% drop in WPP stock on Friday morning to 475p, though this remains well above the twenty-month low of 428p it sank to only days before.

The news is no surprise to many observers – there had been signs before the September 11 attacks on the US that WPP might fall below targets this year [WAMN: 20-Jul-01].

News source: MediaGuardian.co.uk