Business week in review
Sunday 20 January 2013
Perhaps all the tales of woe from the high street are reflected in Tuesday's good news from online grocer Ocado. Despite never making a pre-tax profit in its 10-year history, and a poorly received flotation in 2010, sales grew 14.2 per cent to nearly £92m in the six weeks to 6 January.
Finance director Duncan Tatton-Brown said that Ocado wasn't threatened by Waitrose's soaring online sales – though the fact that so many of the grocers are doing well over the internet suggests that other types of retailers failed to get to grips with cyberspace as effectively.
While the high street seems in turmoil, there was some cheer from the housebuilding sector, which had also struggled in a financial crisis that has now lasted almost as long as the Second World War. Barratt boss Mark Clare expects annual pre-tax profit to more than double to £45m.
And Bovis Homes's head David Ritchie said on Friday that its pre-tax profit would be ahead of the City's £50m expectations.
...at a loss
Is Tesco head Philip Clarke considering an expansion into Kazakhstan? We ask because the land of Sacha Baron-Cohen's Borat Sagdiyev considers horsemeat quite the culinary delicacy: Kazakhs would no doubt be delighted that their beef burgers were in fact a touch equine.
In the UK, the reaction proved to be quite different. On Tuesday, Tesco was one of several supermarkets found to have horsemeat in some of their burgers. This prompted Tesco to issue a full-page apology in a number of newspapers, just a week after the group had announced a return to form in its UK Christmas sales.
It's hard to argue that a $10.5bn (£6.6bn) bonus represents a bit of a down day, but JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon was awarded $21m in 2011. On Wednesday, the bank confirmed his bonus was slashed due to the "London Whale" $6.2bn trading scandal.
On Thursday, Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese stepped down following $14bn of writedowns at the FTSE 100 mining giant.
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- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
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