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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