Business week in review
Sunday 28 April 2013
Who likes a dire economy? Cut-price fashion chains for a start. Primark was buoyed by a 55 per cent profit hike to £238m in Tuesday's interim figures. But Britain is too small for George Weston, the boss of owner Associated British Foods. He is planning French Primarks, having opened 15 European stores in six months.
It was a rare week of retail good news: on Wednesday that Sports Direct's Dave Forsey is to award 2,000 staff shares worth, on average, more than £50,000.
The same day, Mike Pocock, boss of Yellow Pages-owner Hibu, paid 2,500 staff bonuses two months early, despite its eye-watering debts.
...at a loss
Nothing like a business titan dismissing public anger over tax to shake out the Monday blues. Google chairman Eric Schmidt defended the search engine's £3bn corporate tax avoidance on UK profit. The billionaire said Google was "investing heavily in Britain" by hiring more than 2,000 people. Lloyds boss Antonio Horta-Osorio said on Wednesday he was "disappointed" – we suspect something of an understatement – that Co-op has pulled a plan to buy more than 600 branches for £750m.
On Thursday, AstraZeneca's Pascal Soriot was under fire after profit fell by more than one-third.
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
One spelling error costs Companies House up to £9 million after being sued for ruining business
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
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