Business week in review


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The Independent Online

In profit...

Bovis Homes chief executive David Ritchie was a happy bunny on Monday, announcing the group’s highest sales since floating on the London Stock Exchange 16 years ago. Bovis hit 90 per cent of its annual sales target by the 32nd week of the year, as the housing market started benefiting from recovery.

Antonio Horta-Osorio continued his impressive Lloyds rein on Wednesday by selling off a German life insurance business and a portfolio of UK commercial loans for £500m. Earlier this month, Lloyds swung back into profit.

Also on Wednesday, Sir Charles Allen, the former ITV boss, was named chief executive at Danish cleaning giant ISS ahead of an expected stock market listing. a loss

Billionaire South African Ivan Glasenberg had some explaining to do on Tuesday, after his newly-forged Glencore Xstrata mining empire took a $7.7bn (£4.9bn) hit as a result of the megamerger. Glencore bought Xstrata in May after a public negotiation process that took longer than a year, but Glasenberg’s team has since revalued Xstrata’s assets, forcing the writedown.

Heineken boss Jean Francois von Boxmeer was in need of a bevvie or four on Wednesday when the brewer said the amount of beer it sold in the first half of 2013 in the UK and Western Europe was down 6 per cent on the same period last year.

On Thursday, Hugh Osmond stepped down as a non-executive director at Phoenix Group.