Pembroke: Boss takes a pay cut as profits surge

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An interesting twist comes from the remuneration committee at Eurotherm, the electronic gadget maker which has staged a remarkable recovery under the leadership of Claes Hultman, its Swedish chief executive. The trend continued last year with taxable profits jumping nearly 40 per cent.

But in a curious reversal of normal corporate practice, which traditionally rewards slumping fortunes with bumper pay awards, Mr Hultman generously took an 8 per cent pay cut. With any luck he will be able to scrape by on pounds 402,000 a year.

For anyone who doubted the recession was over, I proffer the following.

On the day Porsche announced a 10 per cent increase in sales, Lambeth Building Society increased the income multiples on which it would decide maximum mortgage loans and an estate agent said he hadn't sent anyone round to see my flat because he was too busy.

Haven't we been here before?

Europhobes worried that European monetary union may emerge to haunt them later this decade can take solace from the words of Professor Uwe Jens, the economics spokesman for the German SPD. If he has his way the Emu will go the way of the dodo.

The German opposition party is running strongly enough in the polls to suggest participation in the next government after federal elections later this year, so his thoughts might matter.

Outlining his economic programme to British journalists last week, he was asked about his views on Emu. 'Oh, it should be delayed for 10 years,' he said. From when? 'From the final start-up date of 1999,' said the Prof with a wide grin.

Why do companies go bust? Mostly because they suffer a drop in demand, Mark Homan, president of the Society of Practitioners of Insolvency, said on Friday to the astonishment of all present.

He cited one hapless dog food business in the US which had been launched with high expectations. 'There was just one problem,' said Mr Homan. 'The dogs didn't like the food'.

Confusion at the FT yesterday after I complimented them on an imaginative marketing coup.

Having noticed that the hordes of wealthy Japanese skiers who dominate the more upmarket European pistes these days had imported their own instructors, my informant was impressed that the Pink 'Un had shipped in its Asia edition for its captive Eastern audience.

'That's very interesting' said a bemused spokesman at Southwark Bridge. 'And, had we thought of it, it would have been a good idea.'

Congratulations to Richard Ellis, the surveyor, on winning the LBC-DHL award for environmental initiatives. The firm's prize is a week's free airtime on LBC.

Campbell Devine, the partner behind the winning entry - and, alarmingly, a long-time Simon Bates fan - promises 'a daily property spot more enlightening and emotional than Our Tune'. Mmmm, can't wait.

Ward Thomas, brought in as chairman of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees to sort out the mess caused by the company's over-eager advertising sales team, looked chipper yesterday despite the losses announced by the television company.

'When I joined the board I was told we had no problems, some profits and a helicopter to fly around in,' he quipped. 'Now we've got no profits, some problems and I catch the 8.20 to Leeds.'

The newly relaxed rules on duty-free imports are stretching the credulity of the boys from HM Customs and Excise.

One hapless smoker was stopped recently with 200kg of hand-rolling tobacco in his car. Stocking up for the next 20 years, no doubt, and who are we to doubt him?