High-flying salesman earns more than boss

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The Independent Online

An employee at Oxford Instruments, the electronic equipment maker, has earned more than its chief executive in the past six months in a sign that the business has regained its commercial footing.

The salesman, who was not named, achieved triple his sales target, netting more than £125,000 in the six months to the end of September under a performance-linked incentive scheme.

Jonathan Flint, who took over as chief executive 18 months ago, said: "When I joined I said this business needed a much more commercial culture. I'm very proud to say that [he earned more than me]."

The extra sales of instruments, such as those that analyse micro-fractures in railway lines, have helped to put the company on track to double its turnover in five years. Interim figures yesterday showed Oxford Instruments bounced back into the black with a £1.7m pre-tax profit compared with a £300,000 loss the previous year. Like-for-like orders rose 28 per cent during the period to £85.3m.

The only blemish was a warning of a possible one-off cost of £2.2m this year because of a contract the company had terminated.