LONDON: "The labourer is worthy of his hire," wrote St Luke, craftily rebutting St Matthew's "ye cannot serve God and Mammon". Aegis Group clearly sided with Luke when rewarding board member Mainardo de Nardis, ceo of Aegis Media, for his weekly toil.

He collected no less than £44,263 weekly ($88,114; €65,029) over the 19 weeks that elapsed between joining the company on 18 August 2006 and 31 December of the same year.

According to the company's annual report, de Nardis's pay bonanza comprised a salary of £165,000 and bonuses totalling £666,000.

By contrast, group ceo Robert Lerwill pocketed a meagre £20,961 weekly for a year in the hot seat; while David Verklin, ceo of Aegis Media Americas collected just £15,519 a week.

In a joint letter to shareholders, Lerwill and group chairman Lord Colin Sharman justified the worthiness of their labourers' hire: "In 2006, Aegis had the fastest organic growth of all the major marketing services groups. We outgrew the wider marketing services industry for a tenth successive year."

The letter continued: "In total, Aegis produced good double-digit growth across the group. Reported revenue grew 14.5% to £996.9 million. Underlying pre-tax profit was £116.2m, some 16.0% ahead of the previous year, and underlying fully diluted earnings per share rose 14.8%.

"Aegis Media delivered a phenomenal new business performance, winning $2.7bn of net new annualised billings. Synovate outgrew its industry by a factor of almost two for the second year in a row.

"These results are not just the result of good fortune. Aegis has long had a reputation for being ahead of the curve, and first to market with new ideas and services.

"Our focus on two areas of marketing services - media communications and market research - allows us to react quickly as we see new trends emerging, positioning Aegis Media and Synovate to lead the field.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff