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Business News

Business Diary: Will M&S weather the storm like Primark?

Retailers from Asda to the DIY market leader B&Q have recently cited the near-Arctic conditions in January for a temporary dip in their performance. There was no such excuse needed from Associated British Foods-owned Primark yesterday, as the discount fashion chain posted another stunning set of numbers. ABF's finance chief, John Bason, said he could only conclude that the snow had only had a "limited impact". Given this, Diary will be most interested to see what M&S, right, says about the weather's impact on its sales, given chairman Sir Stuart Rose's famous assertion in 2006 that "weather is for wimps".

Let's all bitch about Facebook on Linked In

OK, it's another one of those surveys to promote a product, but we were amused by the offering from the TV channel Dave that found Facebook skivers came near the top of the list of office gripes. Presumably the serious-minded folk who responded to the survey will all be using their business-friendly "Linked In" accounts to bitch about the phenomenon.

You wouldn't get this sort of treat in Geneva

Not much chance of Gordon Ramsay, right, using pre-prepped meals when he reopens Petrus in Knightsbridge on 29 March. The former Ramsay protégé Marcus Wareing, who picked up two Michelin stars as head chef of Petrus, subsequently took over the restaurant's lease and reopened as Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley. The hedge funds, no doubt responsible for quite a bit of both establishments' business, might like to reflect that they'd never be treated to what is likely to be a culinary battle royale were they to relocate to Geneva.

Forget cricket, India's going football crazy

Having put millions into their players' pockets by exploiting the Far East, football clubs are now casting eager eyes at India and its growing middle class. Diary notes +91 Brands' Event on Manchester United and India, sparked by the fact that Premiership matches attract audiences of 40 million plus in the country. The conference will look at how Man U can leverage its global brand for merchandising and "developing the game at the grass roots in India". Which is no doubt high on the Glazers' list of priorities.

Number of the day: 79 per cent

The percentage of BA cabin crew who backed strike action in yesterday's vote held by the Unite union.