Business week in review

In profit...

Lord Ashcroft was feeling a little merry after his embryonic vineyard business, Shellproof, took over Kent and Sussex winery Gusbourne Estate for £7m on Tuesday.

The Tory peer aims to be producing 500,000 bottles of still and sparkling wine within 11 years, as Gusbourne is set to boom in one of the few times in British history ideal for viticulture.

Sticking with boozy Tuesday, Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said sales rose 4.6 per cent in the first 18 weeks of the year, thanking Britain's sporting success and royal baby celebrations.

Former Royal Dutch Shell executive Mark Carne was named as Network Rail's new boss on Thursday.

...at a loss

In a blow to Finnish national pride, Nokia sold its struggling handset division for $5.44bn (£3.48bn) on Tuesday. Former Microsoft chief executive Stephen Elop will continue to run the division, which had nearly 40 per cent of the worldwide market as recently as 2008 – but that figure has slumped to 14 per cent, according to research firm Gartner.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary used uncharacteristically sombre language in announcing a profit warning on Wednesday. He blamed the July heatwave and weaker exchange rates for a fall in bookings.

Dixons chief executive Sebastian James agreed to invest €69m (£58.1m) in Pixmania to secure a buyer for the loss-making French online business.

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