RoadChef, Britain’s third-largest motorway services group, has been sold to Nikko Europe for 175m.

Marks & Spencer has reported a six per cent increase in its pre-tax annual profits to 1.17bn on sales of 8.24bn. This is a rise of 5.1 per cent compared with last year.

The Granada Group has appointed Travelodge marketing manager Marc Bell as marketing director for Travelodge Hotels and Little Chef Motorway Services. Bell has had caretaker responsibilities since Little Chef marketing manager Jenny Heath quit last month (MW April 30).

British American Financial Services says it will retain its brands – Eagle Star, Allied Dunbar and Threadneedle Asset Management – on completion of its merger with Zurich Financial Services but is looking for ways to incorporate the Zurich logo.

The Government should run a campaign to inform people about privacy risks according to a report from think-tank Demos. The ‘Future of Privacy’ report also suggests that the Data Protection Commissioner should report to the Cabinet Office instead of the Home Office so that privacy policy is integrated across government.

Imperial Tobacco has reported pre-tax profits of 146m for the six months to March 28.

The Government has announced its intention to auction ‘third generation’ mobile telephone licences to mobile phone operators in summer 1999 that will allow fast data transmission for services such as Internet, home shopping and TV.

Lancôme, the upmarket cosmetics label, is launching a range of peel-off, one-day nail polishes (right). The range will come in 11 colours and costs 8.50.

Sun Valley Foods has restructured its sales and marketing functions into meat and further processing divisions. Philip Cross, who joined last year from the Dutch Meat Board, becomes sales and marketing director of the meat division. Mark Sisson has been promoted from turkey marketing manager to sales and marketing director, further processing.

BT is to sponsor the London Film Festival which runs from November 5 to 19. It will also support eight mini festivals nationwide later in the year.

Swatch has developed a wristwatch which doubles as a mobile phone called Swatch Talk and will launch in the UK at the end of the year.

The Design Business Association has launched Design For Good – a scheme to give charities greater access to design agencies.

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