News

Online fashion retailer Asos has turned to Marks & Spencer for again by hiring former finance director Ian Dyson.

Pizza Express founder makes bid for Lloyds bank branches

Hugh Osmond, the insurance sector investor and founder of Pizza Express, has emerged as the third bidder for 632 branches that Lloyds Banking Group is being forced to sell to comply with EU regulations on state aid.

Market Report: Legal & General benefits from regulatory changes

The insurer Legal & General surged up the blue-chip index last night on claims that it will be the "clearest winner" from regulatory changes to the insurance industry, as vague bid mutterings around the company also made a return.

The Business On: Stephen Billingham, chairman-elect, Punch Taverns

Can he pull a decent pint?

The Week Ahead: Home Retail looks to DIY to offset woes at Argos

In a quiet week for results, the retail sector will once again be in focus with Home Retail Group announcing its interim management statement on Thursday. After a warning last week from its blue-chip peer Kingfisher that the rest of the year looks likely to be tough for the UK retailers, there is plenty of caution ahead of its first-quarter figures, although its Homebase subsidiary is expected to follow B&Q and reveal that it has enjoyed a positive start to 2011 thanks to thesunny weather and numerous bank holidays.

Punch sinks to £350m loss after writedowns

The debt-laden pubs operator Punch Taverns made a half-year pre-tax loss of more than £350m after it was forced to write down the value of its tenanted estate.

The Week Ahead: GKN set for update on Japanese earthquake

The UK markets may have bounced back from the falls prompted by last month's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but the tragedy is still likely to be a major focus for GKN's interim management statement, which is released today.

Punch to sell thousands of pubs after debts soar

Punch Taverns has unveiled a radical plan to sell off up to 2,650 pubs over the next five years and split the debt-laden group into two listed companies, one for managed and one for leased pubs.

Market awaits indebted Punch's strategic review

Punch Taverns' chief executive, Ian Dyson, unveils his long-awaited strategy review on Tuesday.

Powerleague set to expand into Ireland

Powerleague, the UK mainland five-a-side football operator, is set to expand into Ireland by the end of the year.

Future of Punch pubs in balance

The UK arm of Ambac, a bond insurer, has hired debt restructuring experts ahead of a battle over the future of the indebted pubs group Punch Taverns.

Former analyst fined over instant message

A former City analyst was yesterday hit with a £50,000 fine for passing misleading information about Enterprise Inns to clients via Bloomberg's "Instant Messenger" system.

Market Report: Snow worries fail to push pub groups out in the cold

The pub groups made merry yesterday, shrugging off worries about the effects of further bad weather on the key Christmas trading period.

The business on...Ian Dyson, Chief executive, Punch Taverns

The new head barman?

Mr Dyson is indeed new to the post, having replaced Giles Thorley, the pubs group's colourful ex-boss, only three months ago.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
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