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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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003