Business briefs: Opec | Park Group | Stagecoach

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OPEC predicted world oil demand will grow more quickly in the rest of 2013 and indicated the group can keep pumping more than the output target it retained at a meeting last month without over-supplying the market.

In its latest report yesterday, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast world oil demand would expand by 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the second half, up from 700,000 bpd in the first six months of 2013. It reiterated its familiar warning of downside risks to the demand outlook from weak economic growth.

Park Group reports improved profits

Park Group, which offers gift vouchers and pre-paid cards used by consumers and companies, yesterday reported a double-digit rise in profits.

The firm said profits before tax had increased by 11 per cent to £9.5 million in the year to the end of March. Its Flexecash card now has nearly 900 corporate users, with £160m loaded across around 2.4 million cards.

Peter Johnson, chairman, said: “The economic outlook remains flat but we look forward with confidence, focused on delivering another sound performance for all our stakeholders.”

Griffiths focusing on Stagecoach role

Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths is stepping down as a non-executive director of recruitment firm Robert Walters to focus on his role of running the Perth-based transport giant.

Griffiths, previously Stagecoach’s finance director, took the top job at the start of last month when co-founder Sir Brian Souter became chairman.

Robert Walters said Griffiths, who is also a non-executive at AG Barr, will be replaced as chair of its audit committee by Brian McArthur-Muscroft, while Andy Kemp will take over as senior independent director.

Marketing director joins French Duncan

French Duncan, the mid-tier accountancy practice, has appointed Alan Dalziel as its marketing and business development director.

Dalziel joins from larger rival BDO, where he was a business development manager.

Managing partner Graeme Finnie said: “I have known Alan for a number of years and have also had the pleasure of working with him before. He has always proven himself to be extremely adept at unlocking routes to market and securing new business opportunities through adding value to clients and bringing creative ideas.”