Not just good with food, but also good with making a profit, The Co-operative Group reported an increase in pre-tax profits of £545.7m for 2010, compared with £367.9m the year before, whilst group sales rose almost 10% to £13.7bn. Here is their “revolution” video – have a look.

Don’t forget that this extra profit is all subject to corporation tax which all goes to help reduce the national deficit. This is a rather different story than that of “the one that got away” Northern Rock, that is effectively owned by us all is to make a further 680 of its remaining 2,600 employees redundant by the end of the year; the news comes after the nationalised bank announced a £232m operating loss for 2010. Not such good news.

The white van driver may be happy that Vauxhall’s Luton factory has been awarded a contract in a joint venture with Renault to build the next version of the carmaker’s Vivaro van from 2013, but the local Luton economy will also benefit from securing up to 6,000 jobs and saving the plant from closure.

Meanwhile the prestige sports-car maker Porsche will start a £4.4bn share sale at the end of this month to reduce its debt to £1.3bn. Its a shame they don’t reduce the price of their cars too.

The hoo-hah surrounding airport owner BAA has been concluded with the not terribly surprising news that they have been ordered to sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports by the Competition Commission following a ruling by in 2009 that the Airport operator must sell three of its seven UK airports; BAA has already sold Gatwick. I doubt that this will have much impact on your choice of airport though.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has reached agreement on tax payments and will pay £690m to cover US tax payments between 2000 and 2010; as a result earnings this year will be higher for the Anglo-Swedish drug maker as it will be paying lower taxes.Their 2010 annual report is here.

The world’s biggest miner BHP Billiton keeps digging and announced it’s expanding its Australian mining projects, worth £5.9bn in capital investments, as it tries to keep up with rising demand in Asia. The pace of change in China remains rampant as does its hunger for resources to make it into the world’s leading economy – Asia’s biggest refiner Sinopec reported net profits for 2010 were £6.8bn, 13.7% higher than the year before, as domestic demand and rising oil prices increased.

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