WPP cheered the City yesterday as its half-year profits surged almost 20 per cent to £429m and the advertising giant promised to keep raising the dividend.

Comment: Admen sell shareholders an old line on top pay

"One of the main functions of a chief executive is to earn value for shareholders. The idea that he needs to be incentivised to do it over and above a salary that would make most people green with envy, is ridiculous."

Williams in need of fresh impetus : CITY TALK

WILLIAMS HOLDINGS, the conglomerate created by Nigel Rudd and Brian McGowan, is the stock market's hottest sell, now that both founders have, in effect, turned their backs on it.

Sorrell set to earn dollars 22m pay package: WPP chief faces five-year windfall under new service contract

MARTIN SORRELL, chief executive of the advertising group WPP, could earn more than dollars 22.25m ( pounds 14.5m) over the next five years under the terms of a new service contract he has negotiated.

Banks to raise pounds 200m in WPP placing

WPP, the advertising group run by Martin Sorrell, said yesterday that a syndicate of 20 banks plans to sell 93 per cent of its holding in a pounds 200m placing this autumn, writes Russell Hotten.

Banks in pounds 200m WPP share sale

A SYNDICATE of 20 banks is planning to sell almost all its shares in WPP, the advertising group, in a pounds 200m international placing this autumn.

Sorrell hired out to WPP

MARTIN SORRELL, the controversial chief executive of WPP Group, is not a company employee even though he recreated it as an advertising group and was paid almost pounds 1m last year.

WPP chief's contract 'lasts too long'

THE DECISION by Maurice Saatchi, co-founder of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, to shorten his five-year rolling contract has put renewed pressure on his former finance director, Martin Sorrell, to follow suit.

Head to head in hard sell: Martin Sorrell came from nowhere and nearly went back there as WPP flirted with fame and failure before stabilising. But for Maurice and Charles Saatchi, once the big brothers of advertising, decline has proved even more emphatic, write William Kay and Neil Thapar

THEY were the colossi of the advertising world and he was just a jumped-up bean counter. But now Martin Sorrell is feted as the man who saved his group, WPP, while the Saatchi brothers seemingly languish in a corporate dead-end.

View from City Road: WPP's new line in communication

WPP spent the second half of the 1980s building an international media group, and the first half of the 1990s struggling to survive under the mountain of debt and equity issues required to fund its o'er-leaping ambitions. Now, at last, it has worked out that its spread of businesses could be a valuable asset rather than a millstone.

WPP may float 49% stake in market research

WPP, the advertising group, is considering selling half its market research business as part of a programme to cut its debt mountain.

Storehouse appoints two new directors

STOREHOUSE, owner of BhS, yesterday filled the last two gaps on its board with the appointment of Dick Steele from Lloyds Chemists as finance director and WPP's Martin Sorrell as a non-executive.

1993 portfolio beats market - despite Queens Moat

DESPITE some spectacular disasters - notably John Shepherd's tip of Queens Moat Houses - our staff investment portfolio performed relatively well last year. If you had invested pounds 1,000 in each of the 14 tips you would have shown a gain on your money of 27 per cent - and that's before taking account of any dividend income. Over the year, the FT-SE 100 share index rose 20 per cent.

Disposal dents WPP debt: Sale of New York agency for pounds 37m means relief for Sorrell

WPP, the world's largest advertising agency, has sold the majority holding in its New York agency Scali McCabe Sloves in a dollars 55.5m ( pounds 37m) deal to help cut its debt mountain.

City: Test at Tiphook

Robert Montague, chairman of Tiphook, the container leasing operation, has always deeply resented his popular image as one of the last of a dying breed of flashy 1980s entrepreneurs - it's not only a cliche, it's wrong, he says. Well, perhaps, but it is hard to resist. In an age of belt-tightening and austerity, Mr Montague still has a yacht, pays himself nearly pounds 1m a year, and his now unprofitable company possesses a jet. He loves shooting and generally gallivanting around. To complete the picture, it now looks to the outside world as if he and his company are about to go down the tubes.

WPP beats profit estimates with advance to pounds 24m: Strong performances in US and Far East overcome conditions

A SHARP cut in interest costs and higher revenues amid difficult trading conditions helped WPP, the debt-laden advertising group, to boost profits thirteenfold in the half-year to 30 June.
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