Under Philip Bowman's command, Allied Domecq is showing the growth potential shareholders have been expecting for some years now. Glancing at the latest six months figures, many will be pinching themselves to make sure they have not slipped into a trance and picked up Pernod Ricard's results by mistake. Profits from its spirits and wine division up 9% (£207m to £225m); the overall group's profits up 16%; and Allied's finance director, Graham Hetherington's startling news that "for the first time, the international QSR (quick service restaurants) business has traded without any losses."