News Another storming performance from the value fashion chain Primark

Primark saw a 14 per cent increase in sales in the 16 weeks to 4 January

ABF expects Primark to smarten up

Primark, the value fashion chain, is expecting strong profits growth over the next six months after a flat first half, its owner Associated British Foods said yesterday.

James Moore: Primark has the formula M&S lost

Outlook Here's an example of what you get if you run a retailer that doesn't seem to require that its chief executives devote lots of time to getting photographed with Twiggy or Dannii Minogue and instead gives customers what they want, when they want it.

ABF has sweet news on sugar production

Associated British Foods said yesterday that sugar production was up from 1 million tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes year on year, thanks to a mild winter that increased the sugar content of beets.

The floral print suit from Mary Katrantzou’s spring/ summer collection and, right, the trousers from Primark’s £41 version

How to look good for less – Primark in copycat row

With London Fashion Week starting tomorrow, designers are closeted in studios putting finishing touches to their collections. But one of them may have cause for complaint – the discount retailer Primark is selling copies of one of her outfits at a tenth of the price of the real thing.

Primark and Asos show the way with storming figures

The discount fashion chain Primark and online specialist Asos posted strong sales yesterday, reinforcing their status as two of the retail sector's best performers in recent years.

James Moore: You can criticise the RBS, but it's not the villain here

It is always when you're down that people line up to give you a kicking. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been down for a very long time and so it's taking brickbats from all quarters. Start with the shares, which have halved in value over the past year, leaving its biggest shareholder (us, thanks to the Government bailout) facing a paper loss in the billions. Then there are the unions, who are outraged over the jobs cuts that seem to come on a monthly basis.

RBS has its critics, but the bank is absolutely right not to prop up Peacocks

When you shout about dressing people for £3 you surely ought to find a ready market

On a mission: Katy B's debut produced the year's finest modern pop

Arts review of 2011 - Rock: Girls stole the show – even the annoying ones

Katy B, Adele, Lady Gaga – not to mention the late Amy Winehouse – grabbed most of the attention this year

Selfridges hands owners £101m windfall

Selfridges more than doubled its dividend to £101m last year after a leap in profits. The payout provides another huge windfall for the Westons, the billionaire family behind Associated British Foods, who bought the department store group for £598m in 2003.

Can anyone pull off artily artless dishevelment better than Emma Thompson?

Reading Festival, Little John's Farm, Reading

Jarvis Cocker and his band were among the stars of the 90s making a comeback at Reading, alongside a spectral appearance by Kurt Cobain

Retail confidence at two-year low

Fears over the health of the UK retail sector were fuelled today as a flooring firm fell into administration and confidence on the high street hit a two-year low.

Retailers battle through the gloom

Two of the retail sector's most powerful operators yesterday showed their rivals a clean pair of heels by posting a strong rise in sales, although both were buoyed by their international divisions.

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Day In a Page

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Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home