News

Higher prices for parcels and loads of Christmas cards delivered helped Royal Mail boost revenues by 2 per cent in the past nine months, the recently privatised business reported today.

Nicky Philipps has turned her hand to the Queen

Page 3 Profile: Nicky Philipps, royal artist

That can’t be the Queen?

Royal Mail offers 'click and collect'

The Royal Mail is to launch a "click and collect" service aimed at online retailers and their customers.

Ben Chu: So the deficit did rise last year after all

Outlook The Treasury this week hailed the fact that data from the Office for National Statistics showed that "underlying borrowing" is now falling. But did it? If you strip out factors such as gilt coupon payments from the Bank of England and transfers from the Royal Mail pension fund, borrowing in April 2013 was £10.2bn, up £1.3bn on the £8.9bn borrowed in April 2012. Ah, but what about the £2.3bn profits from the Bank of England's wound-down Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS)? They were paid over to the Treasury in April 2012 and thus flattered that month's borrowing figures. So disregard those profits for April 2012 and the comparison with April 2013 looks better, showing a £1bn fall in borrowing.

Simon English: Politics will decide Royal Mail float price

Outlook Royal Mail plumped itself up for joining the stock market yesterday with some flashy looking operating profits.

The Royal Mail faces 'fundamental threat' from email, says Business Secretary

Royal Mail reveals profits boost - but Vince Cable says 'no alternative' to privatisation

Business Secretary believes organisation faces 'fundamental threat' from email and must be reformed

Opposition in the post for Royal Mail sale

Ministers are pressing on with a privatisation challenge that even Thatcher steered clear of. Lucy Tobin reports
Wanted Briton Andrew Moran is arrested in Spain

Andrew Moran arrest: One of the Britain's most wanted criminals - arrested in Spain's Costa Blanca - begins extradition in Madrid court

Moran, from Salford, was convicted in 2009 of an armed robbery involving a gun, machete and baseball bat

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nadine Dorries returns from the political wilderness

UKIP’s success in last week’s local elections is having an impact already. Nadine Dorries, who had the Tory whip taken away because of her appearance on I’m a Celebrity, has got it back, thereby heading off the risk that she might defect to Ukip.

Denis Law: Manchester City will welcome the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson

Former Manchester United hero would welcome the appointment of David Moyes

James Ashton: Let's see Parker pack his bags and go postal

Tim Parker tried to convince me he was staying put when he breezed into my office this week, but I still suspect it won’t be long before the private equity world’s favourite boss has found something new to occupy his mind.

The Business Matrix: Tuesday 30 April 2013

Pub grub helps Greene King

Chancellor George Osborne will be hoping official GDP figures on Thursday show the UK economy grew in the first quarter of the year

Minor dip in public sector borrowing highlights pressure on UK finances

Osborne hoping official GDP figures on Thursday show growth in first quarter, narrowly avoiding triple-dip recession

Google Doodle honours Sir Norman Parkinson - one of Britain's most celebrated portrait and fashion photographers

Parkinson, who was born on this day in 1913 and died in 1990, is widely credited with revolutionising the world of British fashion photography

James Ashton: Junking junk mail may not be such a good idea

Lunch with an advertising executive on Tuesday persuaded me that all was mostly well in the land of black rollnecks.

Budget 2013: Public Finances - An ocean of red ink as George Osborne is forced to borrow more

Office for Budget Responsibility puts deficit at £1bn more than it expected in December

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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