Business week in review
Sunday 13 May 2012
Many students would doubtless think that Dr Stephen Wright has the best job in the country. The research & development director at GW Pharmaceuticals confirmed on Tuesday that the group's cannabis-based drug, Sativex, has been approved in 10 more European countries, including Finland, Luxembourg and Slovakia.
The medicine, which acts as pain relief for multiple sclerosis sufferers and is being tested to see if it could be used to help cancer patients, is already on the shelves of UK, Danish Spanish and German chemists. Sativex now has approval in 18 countries, with launches in the latest wave expected by the end of the year.
Justin King, Sainsbury's chief executive, was all smiles on Wednesday after the UK's third-biggest grocer reported results that showed it had reached its highest market share for nearly a decade. Sales, excluding VAT, were up 5.6 per cent to £22.3bn for the 12 months to 17 March, and the dividend was hiked 6.6 per cent to 16.1p.
Dixons Retail boss Sebastian James was also in good cheer, on Thursday, as the group smashed City forecasts with a fourth-quarter sales surge. Apparently, sales of Apple's latest iPad have been "stonking".
...at a loss
The "shareholder spring" came to a head with the darkest of black Tuesdays. Andrew Moss quit Aviva, the UK's second biggest insurer, making him the third major scalp of the rebellion against excessive remuneration.
Trinity Mirror boss Sly Bailey and AstraZeneca head David Brennan had already announced their departures, but Moss's resignation after five years at the helm is perhaps the greatest symbol of growing investor power. The previous week, Aviva had become only the fourth FTSE 100 company to lose a vote on its remuneration report.
The insurer said Moss "felt it was in the best interests of the company that he make way for new leadership". Still, he won't go hungry: he leaves with a £1.5m payoff.
Also on Tuesday, 49.9 per cent of William Hill's shareholders voted against a £1.2m "retention" package for chief executive Ralph Topping. The equivalent of twice his salary, the dough was to ensure he stayed at least until the end of 2013.
On Wednesday, Clinton Cards became the latest name to fall into administration. Turnaround plans drawn up by boss Darcy Willson-Rymer were rejected by debt-holder American Greetings.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
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