Business news in brief: Rightmove | Vertu | WPP | Shell

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Taylor Wimpey – An 11.7 per cent rise in revenues to £2bn helped profits at the housebuilder more than double to £185.3m in 2012. Average selling prices grew 5.8 per cent to £181,000.

• John Lewis – The employee–owned retailer said the late arrival of half–term holidays in England helped sales jump 17.2 per cent last week. Sales at its Aberdeen branch rose 15.7 per cent, while Glasgow was up 11.7 per cent and Edinburgh gained 7.8 per cent.

• Vertu – The acquisitive car dealership, which trades as Macklin Motors in Scotland, expects its full–year trading performance to be ahead of market hopes after a recovery in the new car market.

• Panton McLeod – John Anderson, chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, has joined the water solutions company as a non–executive director.

• WPP – The advertising and marketing giant warned of continued caution among clients but still reported higher profits in an “ugly” year. Pre–tax profits rose 8.3 per cent to £1.1 billion.

• Rightmove – A 26 per cent surge in annual underlying operating profits to £87.5 million was reported by the property group after seeing advertising revenues soar.

• Shell – The oil firm has “gifted” its largest UK R&D centre to the University of Chester in a move that could create 2,000 jobs.

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