Business Diary: Time for Sainsbury's execs to give back

Best of luck to Justin King, the Sainsbury's boss, who has begun an attempt to complete 32 one-mile runs in different parts of the UK by Saturday to raise money for Sport Relief. Sainsbury's could do with some decent headlines after copping flak for bringing bonuses forward for high earners in order to beat tax rises. Let's hope many of them are sponsoring King generously.

Absence may not make the heart grow fonder

MPs at yesterday's BIS select committee hearing into the Kraft takeover of Cadbury should not be too offended by the non-appearance of Irene Rosenfeld, the US firm's chief executive. Six weeks after Kraft bought Cadbury, Rosenfeld still hasn't been to its Bournville home to meet her new employees.

A dangerous game for the Tories to play

You can see why Mark Hoban, the Tories' City spokesman, was keen to capitalise on the Government's failure yesterday to secure a deal with Brussels to protect the UK's hedge-fund sector. But was Hoban wise to criticise the Government's "failure to build alliances" in Europe? After all, the Conservatives' European alliance with a group of right-wing parties has been a little tricky, with some members accused of racism and homophobia.

Paddy Power breathes a sigh of relief

Spotted at the Cheltenham Festival: Jack Massey, the finance director of Paddy Power, looking very pleased with himself after the failure of hot favourite Dunguib to win the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. The bookie had promised to refund all losing bets if it won, you see, at a cost of £4.1m. Massey celebrated with a £2.50 wager on the Champion Hurdle. It lost, too.

Raise a toast to Ireland's top brands

Happy St Patrick's Day to all our Irish readers, who we hope won't take offence from a poll of Britons on what we consider to be the Emerald Isle's coolest brands. The first four are all booze companies – Guinness, Baileys, Magners and Jameson whiskey – before Kerrygold butter comes in a distant fifth.

Number of the day: £7.3bn

The cost of this winter's bad weather to small and medium enterprises, according to Lloyds Bank.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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