I have a question about the usage of the phrase "improve on". Dictionary definitions suggest that the usage of "improve on" should follow this pattern:
<doer> improve on <result>
So, the phrase "improve on" should involve a doer doing something and producing results, like:
- The companies improved on last year's sales.
- He improved on last year's performance.
But on the web, I found this:
He will also receive a salary of $70,000, and claims that he won't be taking a pay rise either until the company's profits improve on last year's mark of $2.2 million.
, which has the following pattern:
<result> improve on <result>
, which does not seem to fit dictionary definitions. Could this usage be wrong? Or, could dictionaries be missing a better definition that fits the "<result> improve on <result>" pattern?