Imperial blames Irish cigarette sales slump on tax rise, not smoking ban

Cigarette sales in Ireland have fallen by 9.5 per cent since the imposition of a ban on smoking in public places, according to Imperial Tobacco.

The Week Ahead: Tesco smells more success as Imperial sniffs smoke-free air

It is a busy time for corporate announcements this week, with a range of companies and sectors updating the market. Only one giant, however, will be dominating the headlines.

Two MFI directors ousted after computer bungle

Two board directors at MFI paid for last week's disastrous profit warning with their jobs yesterday, agreeing to leave the company "by mutual consent".

Business Essentials: 'Furnace contracts have put our plans in the melting pot'

New orders are pouring in at Omega Foundry Machinery, but should it risk cranking up its resources? asks Kate Hilpern

Regent Inns ousts top two directors

Regent Inns, the struggling pubs group that has issued three profits warnings this year, yesterday sacked its chief executive and finance director, four days before its full-year results are due.

Sales leap puts iTouch back in black

Itouch, the mobile phone content company, yesterday announced half-year results showing a positive outcome on cash flow, earnings per share and profit before tax for the first time since its flotation four years ago.

Lawrence Dallaglio: The England captain who said 'enough is enough' and walked away

When Lawrence Dallaglio walked into the late-night bar of the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane a couple of hours after England's 36-point defeat at the hands of the Wallabies last June and pronounced himself "suicidal", no one among his handful of listeners felt compelled to phone the Samaritans on his behalf.

Kevin Beeston: Caught on camera - but Serco's chief isn't about to take his foot off the accelerator

It's time for the City's favourite support services group to hit the road. Clayton Hirst clocks its plans to keep the contracts coming

Cherrys bid to take Countryside private

Alan Cherry, the 71-year-old chairman and founder of Countryside Properties, has made an approach to take the developer private.

Former Kroll directors set up shop as corporate sleuths for an uncertain world

Three former directors of Kroll, the corporate investigator that Marks & Spencer tried to hire during its recent fight for independence, have jumped ship to set up their own agency and take advantage of the growing demand for corporate sleuths.

Webber halts Pilgrims' rise

Watford 3 - Plymouth Argyle 1

The Investment Column: Hammerson offers a safe haven

Chaucer tells a good tale but hold for the full story - Profitable Bodycote is looking good value

Flying Brands back on the merger trail

Flying Brands, the flowers-to-plants mail order company, signalled yesterday it was back on the acquisition trail six years after its last attempt to expand ended disastrously with multiple profit warnings and trading hiccups.

Martin Broughton, British Airways Chairman: Lover of the jumps who is taking to the skies

Martin Broughton belongs to that new breed of super-chairman exemplified by the likes of Niall FitzGerald of Reuters, Dick Olver at BAE Systems and David Varney, who has just moved on from mmO 2 - highly paid but also highly pressured. Mr Broughton's new job at British Airways, which began this week, will entail a lot more than simply chairing the monthly board meeting, holding the ring once a year at the annual meeting and then picking up his director's fee (£250,000 in this case).

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore