Planet Business

Adele’s sales glory, ‘accounting fog’ and the seasonal trade in poinsettias

Picture of the Week: Poinsettia season

Poinsettias, the Christmas house plants of choice, are already in stock in shops and garden centres, though only the most confident of buyers will be under the illusion they can save them from wilting for an entire month. Pictured is Carolyn Spray from the Pentland Plants garden centre in Loanhead, Scotland, which grows around 100,000 poinsettias every year – a mere drop in the red sea of poinsettias coming to a supermarket near you. Poinsettias shouldn’t be positioned in direct sunlight, which obviously isn’t the biggest of problems in Ireland, but they do need some light and warmth, which is. Still, the poinsettia trade blooms unabated, which might be something to do with the fact you’re more likely to find a unicorn in the average garden centre than a supply of holly.

Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

In Numbers: Hello royalties


2.43 million Sales of Adele's album 25 in the first three days of release in US, a tally that smashed a 15-year-old first-week sales record held by Justin Timberlake-fronted boyband NSYNC.

695,761 The record for first-week sales in the UK currently stands at this number, which was the volume shifted by Oasis's Be Here Now album in 1997.

0 Number of times 25 has been streamed on Spotify. The singer and her music label XL Recordings have adopted a strategy that means the album is not available on certain streaming services. It seems to have worked.

The Lexicon: Accounting fog

The problem with “accounting fog” is that it clouds financial storms from view, putting companies at risk of profit warnings. This is the prevailing weather at Rolls-Royce, which has gone through a string of five profit warnings over the past 18 months. Chief executive Warren East, behind the wheel since July, isn’t ruling out another. He admits “accounting fog” and “mud in the system” is making the way the engineering company works somewhat opaque – some might say impenetrable – to analysts and investors, and that employing some 2,000 senior managers doesn’t appear to be helping much. “The ground is not as clear as I would like it to be,” says East. In summary: driving conditions remain less than ideal.