Business Diary: Wanted: your pet's business, dead or alive

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The Independent Online

Given that CVS has 160-odd veterinary surgeries around the country, there's a good chance you'll end up in one of its clinics should Rover feel a little poorly. But beware of the vet. The Aim-listed company wins the gold medal for conflicts of interest following its expansion into pet cemeteries and crematoria. "They make money whether they can cure your pet or not," explains a source close to the company.

The man who knows bankers' secrets

Good luck to John Nichols, unveiled yesterday as a new director at the Securities and Investment Institute. He arrives in the job promising to improve the reputation of the financial services industry. Mr Nichols ought to know a thing or two about dodgy bankers – his last two jobs were as Britain's ambassador to Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Dixons' bid to save you from its salesmen

Here's Dixons' advice (see the retailer's new advertising campaign) for anyone wanting a new flat-screen telly: go to your favourite department store and get the assistant to demo the product – then buy it from the Dixons website. Quite right. Go to a Curry's.Digital store (which Dixons owns) instead and you'll have to listen to a salesman drone on about the extended warranties they plug ceaselessly.

Clothing tip suits Buffett followers

Even for Warren Buffett, a 229 per cent return is not bad going. That's what shares in Dayang Trands, the Chinese tailoring company, have made so far this year. Not that the "Sage of Omaha" actually tipped the stock. No, Dayang soared after Mr Buffett revealed that he bought all his suits from the company.

What the groovy kids are doing these days

Well done to Kingfisher, the owner of B&Q, which announced a 35 per cent increase in profits yesterday. Still, while it is no doubt true, as chief executive Ian Cheshire claims, that the housing slowdown has meant more people are improving their homes rather than moving, his claim that "DIY is cool again" is surely stretching credibility.

Number of the day: €21.5bn

Ikea's sales over the year to the end of August, a record for the Swedish home furnishings group.