Business week in review

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The Independent Online

In profit...

Back in the days when the Duchess of Cambridge was better known for wearing clothes, one of her favourite designers was Jenny Packham. In the heady days of May, *ée Middleton wore a teal number at a gala marking the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics.

Certainly, Debenhams was pleased, as Packham is one of the chain's key designers and sales soared through the roof, as demonstrated by an impressive trading update on Tuesday. Chief executive Michael Sharp said sales in the past 10 weeks were up by 3.8 per cent on last summer.

On Wednesday, it emerged that Bob Diamond's BP is in talks to sell its Texas City oil refinery to Marathon Petroleum Corp.

Also on Wednesday, Peter George announced the flotation of his pharmaceuticals group, Clinigen. a loss

Rows! Oil! The Yellow Pages! What a week of high drama. On Monday, Harpic toilet cleaner-to-Durex condoms giant Reckitt Benckiser announced that finance director Liz Doherty was leaving. None of that "for personal reasons" flim-flam for boss Rakesh Kapoor, who admitted that "Reckitt's and her way of working are not as well matched as either of us would like".

Also on Monday, Shell chief executive Peter Voser announced that the oil empire will have to suspend its £2.5bn Arctic exploration programme for a year. On Wednesday, Mike Pocock, the boss of the absurdly named directories group hibu issued a profit warning.