A WEEK IN BUSINESS

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Insurance broker Sedgwick climbed 14.2 per cent to end the week at 137p despite revealing profits of pounds 91.2m, pounds 3.1m down on the previous year. The shares rose as observers predicted an end to the five-year slump that halved the company's price.

Tail-ender

Lloyds TSB slipped 5.7 per cent to 322p after admitting it was back on the acquisition trail, two months after the pounds 16.8bn merger.

Greasy pole (down)

Henk Westerlaken, chairman of Center Parcs, a subsidiary of brewer Scottish & Newcastle, abruptly resigned to "pursue other business interests", clearing the helm for leisure director John Dalgety.

Nice little earner

James Ross, former Cable & Wireless chief executive, will pocket pounds 1.3m after he and chairman Lord Young got into a boardroom row and were forced to resign. C&W is thought to have offered pounds 2.4m to Lord Young.

Clinched

NatWest used some of the pounds 2.3bn it got from the sale of its US retail banking operation to buy Gartmore, one of the UK's top-rated fund managers, in an agreed deal worth pounds 466m.

Sound bite

"I can say emphatically and vehemently that we have expressed no interest to the UK Government" - a spokesman for Duke Power after Energy Minister Tim Eggar said it may buy nuclear generator British Energy.

Banana skin

Ford paid pounds 1,500 each to four black assembly workers at its Dagenham plant after its ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather, used a photograph in which their faces had been replaced by images of whites.

U-turn

After lining up a pounds 2bn war chest, Michael Green's media group Carlton was forced to retreat from its planned assault on Lord Hollick's MAI, which is now free to pursue its reverse takeover of United News & Media, publisher of the Express newspapers

M'learned friends

SmithKline Beecham, Brtitain's second largest drugs group, made a pounds 250m provision against two legal disputes in the US regarding alleged overcharging of pharmacies and government health schemes for the poor and old.

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