WPP shareholders have voted against a proposed 60% increase in CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s pay package. Separately, WPP says its Consumer Insight arm has been ‘stable’ in the first four months of 2012, with a 3.3% revenue rise adding to the group’s £3.2 billion turnover.
This morning, 59.5% of the group’s shareholders rejected WPP’s latest executive remuneration
report - which included a £6.8m deal for Sorrell - at the group's AGM in Dublin
. Shareholder advisory body Pirc had urged members to vote against the remuneration report, citing ‘excessiveness’.
Chairman Philip Lader said the Board would take the remuneration report vote seriously, and will now consult with the shareholders, and then move forward ‘in the best interests’ of investors and the business.
Sorrell recently defended his proposed pay rise, stating in the Financial Times that he deserved the increase, having grown WPP from a staff of two and market value of £1m in 1985, to a £10 billion company today with 160,000 staff in 108 countries.
Separately, through a trading update
issued today, WPP reported that Consumer Insight revenues grew 3.3% on a constant currency basis in the first four months of 2012, with like-for-like revenues up 1.3% in April; the same
as the first quarter. Combined like-for-like growth in the growing markets of Latin America and Asia Pacific was up more than 10%.
The Consumer Insight business includes agencies TNS
, Kantar, Millward Brown, Added Value, Compete
, Lightspeed Research and IMRB among many others.
Sorrell (pictured) said in the statement: ‘Following the Group's record year in 2011, 2012 has started well with all geographies and sectors growing revenues. The pattern of 2012 looks very similar to 2010 and 2011, albeit at lower overall like-for-like growth levels. Looking further ahead, 2013 is likely to be more challenging.’
Web site: www.wpp.com