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.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
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