Business week in review
Sunday 23 September 2012
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.
...at 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.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
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BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
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