Most followed: Easyjet, Tesco, VW, Oxford, Ferrex...

Easyjet celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first flight last week

Reportedly, Easyjet's boss said passengers will remain 'resilient'

It appears that five, not three, is the magic number for budget airline Easyjet.

The company, which last week celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first flight, reported record profits for the fifth year in a row and hiked its dividend by more than a fifth.

However, the figures do not include any impact from the suspension of Easyjet’s flights to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, while the awful events in Paris over the weekend could also impact the company.

Reportedly, chief executive Carolyn McCall expects the terror attacks to result in an uptick in security at airports, potentially causing delays but she is said to have no doubts that ‘resilient’ passengers will continue to fly despite recent events.

One company potentially benefitting from increased security could be Smiths Group, which has a number of divisions including the production of airport security machines.

Smiths also reported first half figures, which showed sales were 4% lower, but this was better than expected as its detection and medical businesses somewhat negated the effect of the weak oil and gas sector.

The firm also agreed a deal to reduce the amount the company pays into its pension scheme by around £36mln.

In the world of groceries, the “big three” supermarkets were all higher despite the news from Kantar Worldpanel that discounters Lidl and Aldi have reached a 10% share in the UK grocery market for the first time.

Sainsbury’s continues to perform well, with its fourth consecutive period of growth despite tough market conditions.

Sales fell at the other major retailers, however, with Tesco’s down by 2.5% and Morrisons’ easing by 1.7%.

Sainsbury’s has regained the title of second-largest UK supermarket from Asda with a 16.6% market share, though Tesco is clearly the biggest with 27.9%.

Speaking of market share, Volkswagen’s Europe market share receded in the first month since its emissions scandal.

The German carmaker accounts for 25% of the new-car registrations in the region last month, compared with 26% a year earlier.

From Germany to Oxford, and University of Oxford has shocked museum goers by suggesting half of all natural history specimens globally are incorrectly labelled.

It means generations of children taken to museums could have been misled.

As Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons would say: “Won’t somebody please think of the children.”

Meanwhile, one organisation trying too hard to get down with the kids was Oxford Dictionaries, which announced its word of the year was the tears of joy emoji.

People were outraged that the word of the year was not, in fact, a word, with one Twitter user writing “that's not a word. You're in the word business. You should know what a word is.”

Previous winners of the award have been English literature staples ‘omnishambles’, and ‘bovvered’, while also on this year’s shortlist were classics including ‘lumbersexual’ and ‘on fleek’.

In the world of the small caps, M&A was the word of the day, (well…by Oxford definitions anyway) as Inspired Energy said it is shelling out £9mln in cash and stock for STC Energy and Carbon Holdings.

The deal, which is expected to be earnings enhancing in its first full year, bumps the order book of the enlarged Inspired to £23mln and increases the total customer base to 9,500.

Meanwhile, mining junior Ferrex is to buy into a group of gold deposits in Australia to provide cash for its Togo manganese development.

In its first step in a new strategy away from iron ore, Ferrex is acquiring Aussie private company Chaffers Mining, which has an agreement to mine certain of Norton subsidiary Paddington Goldfields’ deposits near Kalgoorlie.

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