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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
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
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment