Business week in review

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The Independent Online

In profit...

Not that Michael O'Leary would care whether we thought he'd had a good or a bad week, but we're going to put the Ryanair boss in the top bit of this column anyway. On Tuesday, the Irish budget airline announced that it will nearly double the size of its fleet with a deal to buy 175 jets from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

This gives Ryanair a fleet of more than 400 aircraft, which would mean an additional 100 million extra passengers will end up reaching for their atlases (does anyone still buy these in the age of Google?) to find out where destinations like Szczecin and Targu Mares are in the world.

The Budget proved to be a good day to bury what is surely good news for a handful of bankers. Barclays handed nine top bosses, including the aptly-named Rich Ricci, £40m in shares on Wednesday. Great timing: surely these bonuses will be generally acceptable given that it was the same day that cash-strapped Britons were celebrating the announcement that they can keep an extra £1,335 of their pay.

On Thursday it was revealed that ITV boss Adam Crozier was paid £1.8m in 2012. a loss

Pascal Soriot is unlikely to be too popular after a week that saw him take the axe to AstraZeneca's workforce not once but twice. The pharmaceutical giant's website boasts of its 6,700 staff in eight UK locations, but that will have to be updated.

On Monday, Soriot said he was cutting 700 jobs in Britain as part of a global restructuring that will lead to around 1,600 redundancies. He added that Astra was planning to close its research and development operation at Alderley Park, Cheshire.

Not satisfied with those, later in the week Soriot cut 2,300 sales and administration posts. The drug-maker has cut 11,000 jobs over the past year.

Also on Monday, oil services group Lamprell was slapped with a £2.4m fine by the Financial Services Authority for failing to keep investors informed ahead of a profit warning last year that wiped 57 per cent from its share price. Lamprell chairman John Kennedy said that it was in the company's "best interests" to accept the fine.

On Thursday, Co-operative Group boss Peter Marks unveiled a hefty loss of nearly £600m.