Business week in review

In profit...

Chelsea fans might be angry at their billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich for hiring Rafa Benitez as the club's manager, but in the City the Russian is reinventing himself as a "white knight".

On Tuesday, the luxury yacht-loving tycoon agreed to take a £1.2bn stake in the world's biggest nickel producer, Norilsk, in a deal brokered to end all legal disputes between two other oligarchs, Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska, who each own around a quarter of the mining company's stock.

The chief executive of TUI Travel, which is behind the brands Thomson and First Choice, declared on Tuesday that package holidays are back in vogue as the UK's wet weather ended the staycation fad. Peter Long announced an 8 per cent profit rise to £390m for the year to September.

Stagecoach boss Sir Brian Souter announced a 39 per cent increase in first-half profit on Wednesday.

...at a loss

Quitting with a pay-off that exceeds the worth of many Lotto jackpot-winning tickets would be enough to see most people into the top bit of this column, but not poor(ish) Trevor Reid. On Tuesday, miner Xstrata announced finance boss Reid was off, with £5.45m in his bin.

However, he was expecting up to £11m in retention bonuses as part of a £140m pot proposed for senior management after the £56bn deal to merge Xstrata with former parent Glencore, the cobalt-to-sugar trader.

Xstrata shareholders voted down the bonuses recently, a clear sign that the shareholder spring was not a one-season-only event.

On Wednesday, Tesco boss Philip Clarke confirmed reports that the supermarket empire was conducting a "strategic review" – almost certainly a sale – of Fresh & Easy. Tesco admitted its US arm "will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns" in its current form.

Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced another austerity-driven budget on Wednesday.

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