MT's week in 60 seconds

The best of this week's business news: hospitals reform, the internet thrives, and a royal gets to work.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

The Government this week announced plans to let private companies take over failing NHS hospitals and Trusts and kick them into shape. One expert likened the idea to ‘the selling of franchises for Kentucky Fried Chicken’. We’re not sure that’s true, but if it was it would at least help to reduce the queues… Over at B&Q the top brass are set to receive private-equity sized incentives to try to revive flagging sales. Quite how this will help them overcome their challenges – the wretched weather and the earliest Easter in ages – your guess is as good as ours. Our supermarkets, meanwhile, are already on the right track. According to a report from Cohn & Wolfe PR, Landor Associates and PSB, our six greenest retailers include M&S, Waitrose, Tesco and Asda.

The rest of retail may be in the doldrums at the moment, but the virtual tills are ringing vigorously. Last year, the amount of money we spent on internet shopping jumped 35% to £14.7bn. Meanwhile Ryanair, a major success of the internet age, reported a major rise in full-year profits – up 20% to €481m in the year to March. Even CVs are moving online these days. And all this will only be helped by Ofcom’s decision to investigate UK broadband speeds, which apparently aren’t as quick as those in ad-land would lead us to believe.

Princess Beatrice is to get a glimpse of how the media works, in a work placement at the Financial Times. That should be fun – an ex-FT staffer recently told the Guardian that the FT editor is ‘the sort of man who, if he sees a woman standing around, asks her to fetch him a glass of water’. Beatrice should be more worried about her biscuit-buying errands. According to a Holiday Inn survey, 80% of people feel the outcome of a meeting could be directly influenced by the biscuits on offer.

But for the story that really takes the week’s biscuit, look no further than Max Mosley, president of Formula One’s FIA, who gained a vote of confidence to remain in his job, despite News of the World allegations of hob-nobbing with prostitutes in Nazi sex games. Crumbs.

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