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Business Analysis & Features

Business week in review

In profit...

Ever heard of Kassem Alom? Neither had we until Tuesday, when he announced his intention to float Al Noor Hospitals, Abu Dhabi's biggest healthcare provider, on the London Stock Exchange.

Al Noor said that it hopes to raise $150m (£98.7m) which would value the company at up to $1bn. Chief executive Alom said the money could be used for acquisitions.

Wednesday saw Sports Direct, the cricket bats and tracksuits empire run by Mike Ashley, buy retailers in Austria and the Baltics.

Tony Wray, the boss of takeover target Severn Trent, pleased investors with an 8.2 per cent dividend hike.

...at a loss

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary – the man who wanted to charge customers to use the toilet on his budget airline – was seething on Thursday. The Competition Commission confirmed that it wanted Ryanair to sell down its 29.8 per cent stake in Aer Lingus, a rival that O'Leary has long harboured hopes of buying.

Retailer's profit is hit. What's the excuse? That's right — apparently we have rain in Britain! Kingfisher boss Ian Cheshire blamed the wettest March in 50 years for poor first-quarter figures.

Bumi chief executive Nicholas von Schirnding announced a $2.4bn (£1.6bn) pre-tax loss at the scandal-struck miner.