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The weekend newspaper round up: March 20 to 21 2010

A round up of the best fashion business stories from the weekend’s newspapers.

  • Next is to pay an estimated £20m in staff bonuses as it discloses its annual profits, the Mail on Sunday reports. Next is expected to announce a £66m surge in pre-tax profits to around £635m when it reports its annual results on Wednesday, the Independent on Sunday reports. Staff will receive an average bonus of £500.
  • M&S investors are calling for a boardroom clear-out after a fresh row over the salary Sir Stuart Rose will receive when he becomes chairman, The Sunday Times reports. One investor emphasised the need for an independent chairman. Rose said that although his £875,000 salary, 25% less than what he receives now, is more than what they would pay an independent chairman, it is justified because he will be fully occupied until he leaves in March next year, the Mail on Sunday reports.
  • Sainsbury’s will reveal a slowdown in sales growth this Wednesday, the Sunday Telegraph reports. It is expected to reveal like-for-like sales to rise by 1%, in comparison to 4.2% over Christmas. Bad weather, tough comparative figures and more cautious consumers are to blame, analysts said.
  • The fate of Adams could be decided this week, as administrator MCR is due to hold talks with the remaining bidders for the group tomorrow, the Sunday Express reports. There are at least three firms left and a rescue should be tied up by the end of the month.
  • Blacks Leisure shareholders are holding out for a bid from Sports Direct in excess of its 62p-per-share indicative offer for the chain, rejected by the board on Friday. Investors told the Sunday Express that they were holding out for an offer “north of a pound”. Sports Direct have until April 1 to make a firm offer or walk away for six months.
  • Fears of stagnation in the real economy and rising prices were revived as February’s retail figures are expected to show the volume of sales as static, the Mail on Sunday reports. The Consumer Prices Index is believed to be running well above its 2% target.
  • The children of Matalan founder John Hargreaves are set to follow in their father’s footsteps by moving their official residence overseas ahead of a £250m windfall dividend, the Mail on Sunday reports. Hargreaves is hoping to raise £250m through a newly renegotiated loan as well as £225m on the bonds market to pay off debt.

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