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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

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
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travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
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Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
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Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
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Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
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The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
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How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss