Scottish Business Briefing – May 1st 2013

Scotgold's Cononish Goldmine near Tyndrum.     Picture: Robert Perry
Scotgold's Cononish Goldmine near Tyndrum. Picture: Robert Perry
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WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Mackie’s extends crisps deal with Asda

Crisps firm Mackie’s of Scotland is eyeing a 30 per cent increase in sales after landing a contract extension with supermarket chain Asda. The deal marks the food firm’s first UK-wide listing with the grocery giant. It will see Asda stock three of Mackie’s best-selling flavours

Orkney smokery lands Tesco deal

THE Island Smokery on Orkney is ramping up its production after securing a deal to supply 45 Tesco stores across Scotland, which started this week. Callum MacInnes, who has built up The Island Smokery, highlighted hopes that the new business with Tesco could add between 10 and 15 tonnes of cheese to his business’s most recent annual production figure of 18 tonnes.

Sales fall as taxes rise to make up 80% of cost of a bottle

Scotch Whisky sales have declined by 12 per cent in the UK over the past five years since the introduction of the alcohol duty escalator. Despite soaring sales in foreign markets, UK volume has dropped from 102 million bottles in 2007 to 90 million in 2012.

At its annual meeting in Edinburgh yesterday, Scotch Whisky Association members discussed the impact of the escalator and the tax burden.

Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com

ECONOMICS

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

The Economics of Independence 2013 – 4 June, Edinburgh

Join delegates for this truly unmissable event as expert speakers including: Nicola Sturgeon, Alistair Darling, Rupert Soames, Jim McColl and leading academics as they debate arguably the most crucial issues in the Scottish independence debate.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

INDUSTRY

Scotgold defers its funds bid as gold price falls

SCOTGOLD, the mining company with ambitions to dig precious metals out of the hills of Argyll, has put a planned fundraising on ice due to the recent gold price meltdown.

The price of gold has fallen 13.7% to $1428 (£935) an ounce since Scotgold last set out its projections a year ago but the owners of the Cononish mine said they remained confident of “healthy returns” once it proceeded.

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

TECHNOLOGY

Wolfson sales jump due to music on smartphones

Wolfson Microelectronics, the audio-chip developer, is confident it can widen its

customer base as it taps into the booming demand for music on the move. Products

designed by the Edinburgh-based firm already feature in home hi-fi components, set-

top boxes and televisions but smartphones are forming an increasingly crucial part of its

business.

Glasgow eyes bio-corridor for attracting investment

STRATHCLYDE University principal Sir Jim McDonald has revealed proposals for a

“bio-corridor” in Glasgow to attract international investment and high-value jobs to the

city. McDonald told yesterday’s BioScotland conference in Glasgow that the corridor

would run from the BioCity incubation centre at the former Merck drugs factory in

Newhouse through the city centre to GlaxoSmithKline’s facility at Irvine.

Read all today’s technology news from scotsman.com