James Thompson

James Thompson is a business reporter at The Independent.

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Debenhams is upbeat despite volatile trading

Debenhams said it will hit City expectations for this year, despite yesterday posting its weakest sales for more than two years and reporting "volatile" high street trading in its third quarter.

Market Report: Afren strikes oil off Nigeria to end slump

Investors in Afren had a day in the sun yesterday after the oil exploration firm made a major discovery off the coast of Nigeria. It has been an overcast year so far for shareholders, with Afren's shares having been on the slide. But yesterday it unveiled some successful drilling in Nigeria.

TM Lewin set to choose advisers for £100m sell-off

TM Lewin, the maker of shirts worn by hordes of City workers, is close to appointing advisers to sell the business for up to £100m.

Strong UK recovery wiped out by slump in Europe as Carpetright sinks £5.1m into red

Carpetright has delivered a strong turnaround in UK sales, but a dire performance in Europe and write-downs in the value of its property saw it post a full-year loss.

Ailing retailers buckle under rent blow

Two more retailers were on the brink of administration last night, putting thousands of jobs at risk after yesterday's third-quarter rent day forced them to throw in the towel.

SABMiller’s Graham Mackay bags £14m

Graham Mackay, the former chief executive of SABMiller, pocketed total pay of nearly £14 million last year after a lucrative share scheme paid up.

Belgians lead the race to bag crisp maker Tyrrells

A Belgian private-equity firm with links to the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer empire has emerged as a front-runner to acquire Tyrrells, the upmarket crisp maker, for £100m.

City shirtmaker TM Lewin in shop window for £100m after profit fall

TM Lewin, the 115-year-old City shirtmaker, could go up for sale for as much as £100m, having spoken to potential advisers over strategic options for the business.

Pret owner sweet on picking up a stake in Hotel Chocolat

The private equity owner of Pret A Manger is eyeing a major investment in upmarket chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat, which is valued at more than £100 million.

Colin Henry to take helm at Jaeger

The fashion retailer Jaeger has hired a new chief executive, following its acquisition by a private-equity firm last year.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal