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The Independent Online
George Greener has been named as chief executive of Hillsdown Holdings, the food group that includes Tetley tea and Hartley jams. He replaces David Newton who told the board yesterday that he was resigning to pursue other interests. Mr Green, 50, worked for Mars for 20 years, most recently as managing director of Mars UK.

Mulberry, the luxury goods group, enjoyed a strong debut on the Alternative Investment Market. The shares raced ahead to 185p compared with the issue price of 153p. The pounds 8.5m issue was five times subscribed. Much of the funds raised will repay loan notes.

The Moores family, which controls the Littlewoods empire, has voted in favour of the appointment of former Cable & Wireless chief executive James Ross as the group's new chairman. The vote was taken at the company's annual meeting in Liverpool yesterday. Mr Ross replaces Leonard van Geest who has chaired Littlewoods for six years. Mr Ross is expected to modernise the group and bring in some fresh management.

Cranswick, the pet, food and agribusiness group has reported flat profits of pounds 3.1m for last year though the current year has started encouragingly. The pet sector is looking robust though agribusiness has been affected by rising raw material prices and a tough market. Sales were 22 per cent higher at pounds 142m. The dividend was increased from 8.65p to 9.2p.

Hamleys, the toy retailer, has reported a 10 per cent increase in sales for the three months to the end of April. Sales in the flagship Regent Street store were strong during February and March but flat over Easter. A new sports department will be officially opened next week. The Heathrow and Channel tunnel shops continue to perform strongly, recording double- digit sales growth

BPB Industries and the insulation division of the French group Saint Gobain have signed agreements to establish joint ventures for the manufacture of glass fibre insulation in the UK and Ireland. The arrangements involve the sale to Saint Gobain of half of BPB's Gyproc Insulation business and half of its Irish company, Moy Insulation. The joint ventures will trade as British Gypsum-Isover and Moy-Isover. Saint Gobain will pay pounds 15m for its share.

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