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Outlook Stefano Pessina thinks I'm an idiot (this isn't a club of one, I grant you).

Hornby responds to critics with record result

Andy Hornby refused to take credit for Alliance Boots' impressive annual results yesterday, but the £1bn of profits, one of the best performances this year by a UK retailer, marks the start of the rehabilitation of a man that is blamed by many for 2008's banking crisis, and the subsequent recession

Boots profits push above £1bn

High street giant Alliance Boots today pushed profits above £1 billion for the first time and mapped out future growth plans despite "challenging" conditions.

Banks and BA have 'shocking reputation'

Royal Mail, British Airways and state-controlled banks Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds are among the big British companies that have a "shockingly poor reputation among consumers", a survey has revealed. British American Tobacco, the cigarette maker, has the worst corporate reputation out of 140 companies, but it is closely followed by Royal Bank of Scotland in 138th place and Lloyds TSB Group in 136th, according to the Reputation Institute's UK Pulse Report 2010.

DFS founder to step down after £500m deal

Lord Kirkham, the founder and chairman of the UK's biggest sofa retailer, DFS, is to step down after it was sold for about £500m to the private equity firm Advent International.

The City Diary: A mole at Her Majesty's broker? Surely not

Slackbelly exposes the good, the bad and the ugly of the square mile

KKR outlines plans for $7.5bn New York IPO

Kolhberg Kravis Roberts, the US private equity giant, has filed IPO plans in New York. KKR, which owns the high-street pharmacy group Alliance Boots, will list with a market capitalisation of about $7.5bn.

Alliance Boots wants to end final salary pension

Alliance Boots, the chemist-chain owned by US private equity firm KKR, opened talks with employees yesterday over plans to scrap the company’s final salary pension scheme. The announcement comes just a fortnight after chief executive Andy Hornby thanked staff for a “fantastic effort” during 2009.

Good news from Alliance Boots - with a warning

Andy Hornby, the chief executive of Alliance Boots, yesterday said that the group’s 10.2 per cent revenue hike in the three months to the end of December was a “fantastic effort,” but warned that trading in 2010 would be tough.

Business Diary: Don't let them bother the talent

Consternation among Britain's financial scribes at a pow wow of bankers in London yesterday. The star turn was Barclays Capital's Bob Diamond, but there were plenty of other big names from high finance. Sadly, journalists were imprisoned in a side room and kept away from delegates by unsmiling security men. The organisers who invited the hacks and then acted as if they were diseased? The Wall Street Journal.

Inquiry asks if HBOS misled over rights issue

A Financial Services Authority investigation into whether HBOS's former board may have misled investors at the time of the bank's abortive £4bn rights issue last year could "open the floodgates" to hundreds of civil court actions against Lloyds Banking Group, which acquired HBOS in January, according to senior legal sources.

Business Diary: A good day to bury bad banking news

The spirit of Jo Moore is alive and well at Britain's banks. The Labour spin doctor famously told colleagues that 11 September, the day of the terrorist attacks on the twin towers, was an opportunity to bury bad news. Yesterday, while Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland were announcing their latest bailouts, HSBC quietly revealed 1,700 job cuts and Barclays admitted its head of retail banking was quitting. Did they hope no one would notice?

Waitrose targets 300 convenience stores

Waitrose and Alliance Boots to cross-sell products in 'significant' move

Business Diary: 11/07/2009

John Lewis lobs sun & strokes into excuse mix

There's a new excuse for corporate PRs to gloss over bad news. Had a slump in sales? Ratings down? Here's your communications solution: Blame the hot weather, right, and tennis ... as if either has ever ground the UK to a halt before.

Alliance Boots set to name Hornby as new chief executive

Shock return for discredited former HBOS banker at pharmacy chain

KKR swings to $1.2bn loss as Europe investments suffer in the downturn

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the private equity group whose investments include Boots the chemist, suffered a $1.2bn (£730m) loss last year as the financial market slump took its toll. In an unexpected investor update made public yesterday, KKR said it swung to a full-year loss from "economic net income" of $815m in 2007.

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