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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?