Tesco has announced pre-tax profits of 350m, a nine per cent increase, for the 24 weeks to August 9. Group sales including Ireland were up 15.2 per cent, and like-for-like sales grew six per cent. The supermarket chain has also announced the launch of an instant access savings account.

Hilton International has appointed Morag McCay as vice-president of marketing, based in the UK. She will report to David Scowsill, senior vice-president of sales, marketing and IT.

Apple founder Steve Jobs has been appointed as interim chief executive officer.

Gala, the chain of bingo halls owned by Bass, has appointed Britvic sales director Simon Speers as its new marketing director. His appointment comes as rival bingo operator Top Rank launches the first ad campaign for a bingo chain since the Government lifted restrictions on promotions.

Philips Consumer Communications UK managing director Bernie Woollaston has stepped down. The telecoms arm of Philips is merging with Lucent Technology next month. A replacement has not yet been appointed.

Unilever has promoted former Birds Eye Wall’s UK general marketing manager Alan Martin to the most senior marketing role in its Canadian subsidiary. Martin will be Good Humor Breyers vice-president marketing.

Nestlé UK chairman and chief executive David Harris has left the company due to illness.

The National Meningitis Trust is looking for a chief executive following the retirement of Jim Boulton.

Grattan, the mail order company, has appointed the Alliance & Leicester to provide financial products through its catalogues.

Cadbury’s 2m advertising campaign for Astros launches next week. The TV ad (right), from EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper, is set on a blue planet populated by blue-skinned aliens and carries the strapline ‘So delicious they’re doomed’.

Scottish Courage has secured an agreement to supply and distribute Foster’s lager to the pub estate owned by Everards, the Leicestershire-based independent family brewery, and its free trade customers.

Sarah Drnec, wife of Harry Drnec, the man who introduced Sol lager to the UK and popularised the energy drink Red Bull, has launched spicy tomato drink Big Tom Rich & Spicy through her company, The Creole Drinks Company.

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