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

Tesco is to scrap 24-hour trading at 76 stores
Tesco is to scrap 24-hour trading at 76 stores
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Here are six of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Supermarket giant Tesco is to put an end to 24-hour trading at 76 of its stores – including four in Scotland. The affected stores will close their doors between midnight and 6am in a move the UK’s largest retailer said was designed to “improve the shopping experience”, with workers’ time freed up to replenish shelves overnight.

Soft drinks group AG Barr forecast a fall in annual sales amid “highly competitive” market conditions. The Cumbernauld‑based maker of Irn-Bru said its results were set to show a 1.5 per cent decline in ongoing revenues to about £257 million, but insisted its business performance had continued to improve during the second half of the year.

Sky said James Murdoch is to return as its chairman, almost four years after he resigned from the pay-TV company in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal. Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert, who has served on the Sky board since November 2011, has been appointed deputy chairman.

Dundee medical devices company Vascular Flow Technologies secured a £10m cash injection, helping it develop as a technology transfer business. The firm’s grafts replicate natural blood flow for patients with compromised or diseased blood vessels and it said the capital will underpin its “realignment of business strategy to focus on research and development”.

Till and point of sale stalwart Zonal Retail Data Systems racked up its sixth year of successive sales growth following significant investment in new products. The Edinburgh-based company, which employs more than 400 people, posted record sales of £59.6m and underlying earnings of £3.4m for the year to 30 June.

The typical small company in Scotland could be losing a day’s work each week because of slow internet connections, according to a new study. The research, from Virgin Media Business, also found that 56 per cent of Scottish SMEs say they could not function without the internet, while 42 per cent believe a faster connection would help to accelerate their overall growth.