Business week in review

In profit...

More and more, it feels like Ivan Glasenberg is now the big beast of world mining, particularly after his peers at huge rivals BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Rio Tinto have already left or are about to do so.

The boss of the aluminium-to-zinc (A-Z, geddit?) trader Glencore has all but completely masterminded the takeover – sorry, merger – of the coal and copper miner Xstrata, and now it seems that the billionaire has an almost water-into-wine ability to make money out of even falling profit. Glasenberg might argue that he's one of the lowest-paid bosses in the FTSE 100, but his large shareholding means that the South African still received a $172m (£115m) dividend on Tuesday.

Glencore increased the dividend despite profit falling by 75 per cent last year. But Glasenberg didn't take a bonus – so that's all right, then.

Henry Engelhardt also saw his coffers boosted by a big shareholding, this time in Admiral, the insurer he founded 20 years ago. To mark the owner's platinum jubilee, a bumper dividend of 45.5p a share was announced on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Standard Life chief David Nish pleased its shareholders by announcing a 6.5 per cent hike in its share dividend to 14.7p. a loss

Ah, retailers. It's never their fault, is it? Once again, the weather – you know, that thing that's been predictably rotten for years – has been blamed for poor sales at a major retailer that employs swathes of people to predict consumer trends and what impacts their purchasing habits.

Debenhams' chief executive, Michael Sharp, saw £175m wiped off its market valuation on Monday as the department store chain issued a shock profit warning as a result of January's wintry weather.

However, Sharp did argue: "The minute the snow stopped our performance recovered."

How on earth would Debenhams cope if the UK was subject to regular hurricanes or was located on a volatile geological fault line?

Enduring a very bleak Tuesday was Standard Chartered boss Peter Sands. It emerged that he saw his bonus cut from $3.5m in 2011 to an admittedly tidy sum of $3.15m last year, a result of the huge fine the bank faced for breaching US sanctions on Iran.

On Wednesday, the holiday group Thomas Cook announced that it would axe 2,500 jobs and close 200 of its branches. This is part of the planned turnaround of the heavily indebted business by chief executive Harriet Green.

14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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