Business week in review
Sunday 20 May 2012
In profit ...
Stefano Pessina, the chairman of Boots, the high-street chemist, tried to brush off questions over the Switzerland-based retailer's tax last week. But he was more effusive about a multi-billion pound merger that is his preferred exit from the £11.5bn private equity-backed deal that pulled Alliance Boots off the stock market in 2007. Speaking as he unveiled a 12.4 per cent rise in annual profit to £1.2bn, the Italian said that mergers "create synergies and value".
The superheroes of the Avengers Assemble film have come to the rescue of Cineworld, helping to drive a 6.3 per cent rise in revenue since December. The chain's boss Steve Wiener said Robert Downey Jr et al, plus a rise in mid-week cinema trips had fuelled the rise.
G4S, the world's largest security firm, led by Nick Buckles, is hoping for an action-free summer, after announcing that the contract to provide Olympic security will boost revenues by £150m this year. The group toasted a 7.5 per cent rise in first quarter revenues.
...at a loss
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, had another week to forget after the FBI opened an investigation into the $2.3bn losses suffered by the investment bank on complex derivatives. His week took a further turn for the worse on Tuesday when 40 per cent of shareholders voted to split the chairman and chief executive roles.
For altogether different reasons, another titan of corporate America was licking his wounds this week. Richard Schulze, the founder and chairman of Best Buy, the electricals giant, quit after failing to bring to the board's attention the alleged "extremely close personal relationship" his former chief executive, Brian Dunn, had with a female employee. Dunn quit a month ago for violating the retailer's ethics policy.
Life doesn't get easier for Stephen Marks, head of fashion retailer French Connection. The chain, which he founded in 1972, posted its third profit warning in seven months on Thursday.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
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