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It’s a gloomy day on the high street, and not just because Dame Anita Roddick died last night. We have pretty uninspiring interims from Next, a nasty profits warning from JJB Sports which has knocked 14 per cent off the shares, and a continuing poor performance by French Connection.

We’re running a package about Anita Roddick online and you can share your thoughts about the impact she did, or did not, have on FT.com now. Although we had a lot on her in this morning’s paper, expect us to do more tomorrow. The blogosphere is bursting with tributes and our story on her death overnight was our fourth most-read on FT.com, behind stories on Joe Lewis and General Petraeus.

Elsewhere, Evolution is rightly gloomy about the prospects for the IPO market on which is relies for much of its business. On the other hand, Provident Financial, the lender to low-income households, said it was “totally unaffected” by the crisis in the debt markets as it delivered a 20 per cent rise in first-half profits.

Germany’s Spiegel magazine group is in talks to acquire Pearson’s 50 per cent stake in German financial daily Financial Times Deutschland, sources tell Reuters. The story was originally reported in Handelsblatt.

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