Laura Chesters

Laura Chesters is a business reporter and covers the consumer, food, drink and luxury goods sectors on the business desk at The London Evening Standard, i, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday

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Petra Diamonds unveils plan for early dividend

The miner that found two rare blue diamonds this year has said it plans to pay a dividend sooner than expected.

Conchita Wurst with French designer Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean-Paul Gaultier exits ready-to-wear to focus on perfume and haute couture

Final ready-to-wear collection from French designer to be launched later this month

Richemont hit by Chinese luxury slowdown

Richemont, the Swiss giant behind Cartier watches, has become latest luxury group to be hit by sales growth slowdown as demand in China wanes.

ASOS shares plunge on third profit warning

Online retailer downgraded its outlook for next year warning profits will remain at "similar level"

Rare blue diamond found in South Africa sold for £17m

Petra Diamonds purchased the 122.52 carat stone in a partnership with an anonymous polishing partner

Market Report: Micro Focus splashes out $1.2bn to buy US-based Attachmate Group

Software and computer consultancies rarely get the City excited, but on Monday a £730m deal by Micro Focus for its American rival helped its shares jump more than 15 per cent.

JD Sports to launch menswear chain as it takes on Topman

Chain in talks to open new outlets in Norwich, Bristol, Gateshead and Merry Hill near Birmingham by the end of the year

Markets Report: Focus switches back to China and Russia

The City switched its focus from Scotland back to China and Russia as the Footsie fell on Thursday.

Véronique Laury

Véronique Laury to become fifth FTSE 100 female boss as head of B&Q owner Kingfisher

She is replacing chief executive of seven years, Sir Ian Cheshire

Market Report: Traders dump shares in companies most at risk from independence Yes vote

As the word “Yes” for an independent Scotland looked more likely after a weekend poll, the word sell echoed around the City yesterday as traders dumped shares in companies most at risk.

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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital