Business briefs: CPP | John Lewis | Marshalls

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CARD insurance firm CPP, which is attempting to rebuild its reputation following its role in a mis-selling scandal, has appointed Brent Escott as its new chief executive.

Escott joined CPP as interim deputy chief in June and has 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry. He replaces Paul Stobart, who had been in the role since October 2011.

CPP was fined £10.5 million last year over the mis-selling of card insurance and identity theft protection. About seven million customers of banks and card companies will receive £1.3 billion in compensation following the debacle.

• Department store group John Lewis has reported a “solid” rise in sales for last week, but its Glasgow branch was its only store north of the Border to see a drop in takings.

The employee-owned retailer said demand for televisions, high-end cameras and children’s clothing helped sales grow 6.6 per cent to £67.9 million in the week to 24 August.

Among its three Scottish outlets, Aberdeen was the strongest performer with a 5.1 per cent increase in sales, followed by Edinburgh at 4.8 per cent, but Glasgow dipped 3.1 per cent year-on-year.

• Paving slabs specialist Marshalls has predicted a sales boost from the recovering construction sector after delivering a 15 per cent rise in first-half profits.

The firm, which has supplied materials for the Falkirk Wheel and Trafalgar Square, said pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 June rose to £8 million, despite a 4 per cent dip in revenues to £156.5m as demand was hit by the record cold weather at the start of the year.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 1.75p a share on 6 December, unchanged from last year’s payout.

• Scotmid’s plans to swallow fellow co-operative retailer Penrith have moved a step closer to completion.

The Edinburgh-based group, which employs 5,000 people and owns almost 200 food stores across Scotland, said members of the Cumbrian firm had voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of the deal.

Chief executive John Brodie said: “This is a momentous decision for both societies and one not taken lightly by the boards of Penrith or Scotmid nor by the members.”

Penrith has 179 staff and runs nine shops and Post Offices.

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