Friday business round-up: Five key stories of the day

RBS unveiled a plunge in quarterly profits. Picture: John Devlin

RBS unveiled a plunge in quarterly profits. Picture: John Devlin

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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Royal Bank of Scotland saw its third-quarter adjusted operating profits more than halve to £842 million following a decline in income at its corporate and institutional banking arm. The Edinburgh-based group also said that it had already exceeded its target of reducing costs by £800m this year, and has now raised its savings target to more than £900m.

The results came after the state-backed lender was named as winner of the Scottish Financial Services Awards 2015. The group was recognised for its partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark creating a network of start-up business accelerator hubs across the UK, providing new enterprises free access to a range of support and guidance.

Upmarket housebuilder Cala submitted plans to build 206 homes at Balerno in Edinburgh. The firm said the development, at Newmills Road in the capital’s leafy suburb, would provide a variety of properties for “first-time buyers, to expanding families and downsizers”.

John Lewis said all three of its department stores in Scotland suffered falls in sales last week. Aberdeen suffered the steepest decline, with sales down 13.5 per cent on a year ago, closely followed by Glasgow, where takings dropped by 12.4 per cent. Edinburgh put in the best performance, but sales were still 2 per cent lower year-on-year.

Glasgow-based broadcaster STV said Ian Steele, the former senior partner for Scotland and Northern Ireland at accounting giant Deloitte, is to join its board as a non-executive director at the start of next week. Steele spent 16 years at Deloitte, taking up the position of senior partner in 2010 before retiring earlier this year.

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