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Top 100: 45. Ben Lewis

Chief executive, River Island

It’s been a tricky year for the River Island chief executive. Profits plunged 25% as the young fashion retailer took a hit on rising materials costs. But sales held at £799.1m in the year to December 25, 2011, showing that River Island’s offer is continuing to keep its army of customers happy. This year’s biggest coup came in the form of pop star Rihanna, who is designing an exclusive River Island collection.

What he says… “As a business that has been around for decades, and will be around for many more, we have the confidence to invest.”

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