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.
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Grangemouth closure: Union may make concessions
UNION bosses will make a last-ditch attempt to stop the closure of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant today and avoid the loss of 800 jobs amid reports that concessions may be made by Unite chiefs. The move came after Ineos, the owners of Scotland’s biggest industrial powerhouse, announced its intention yesterday to axe the facility. The announcement also raised fears for the future Scotland’s only oil refinery, as the company suggested that it might not be able to survive on the Grangemouth site on its own. (Scotsman)
BASF Paisley plant closure talks planned
THE Scottish Government is to hold urgent talks with chemical firm BASF on the future of the company’s closure-hit site in Renfrewshire. BASF is planning to shut its plant in Paisley with the loss of 141 jobs. The Hawkhead Road factory has produced pigments to colour inks, paints, paper and plastics for almost 60 years. It is due to shut by the middle of 2015 because of a rapidly changing market and unsustainable manufacturing costs, according to BASF.
Insolvencies ‘spike’ as Scots economy improves
A SPIKE in the number of companies going bust is a sign that the economic outlook is improving, analysts said yesterday. Official figures from the Accountant in Bankruptcy showed the number of firms being liquidated or entering receivership jumped by 45.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter between July and September to 268. (Scotsman)
Chemical sales drive export growth
Refined petrol and chemicals were among the stronger sectors of the Scottish economy, according to the latest manufactured export figures. According to the Scottish government, total overseas sales grew 3.5% in the second quarter of this year. Engineering also proved to be a strong factor.
The Digital Fabric of Scotland: The Challenge of stitching it together - 29th January - Edinburgh
Join us and the Scottish Council on Archives as we bring the first event of its kind to Scotland. Expert speakers drawn from business, academia, industry and government will aim to raise awareness of digital records among key decision makers across different sectors, help build a Scottish digital records community to collaborate on finding the best technological solutions and securing investment and examine the options for ensuring long term access to valuable digital resources. Visit (the Scotsman Conferences) website for more details.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Murray exits as Inverarity Morton buys Forth Wines
INVERARITY Morton, the drinks merchant owned by whisky industry veteran Sandy Bulloch, has bought rival Forth Wines in a seven-figure deal that triggers payouts for investors Sir David Murray and Scottish Enterprise. The deal, which was signed late on Tuesday night and which will be unveiled today, will create Scotland’s largest privately-owned wine merchant, with sales of around £75 million a year and clients including G1 Group, the Gleneagles Hotel and Saltire Taverns.
(http://www.scotsman.com/business/food-drink-agriculture|Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com|Click here}
Debenhams reports dip in profits
Department store group Debenhams has reported a small drop in full-year profits, and says shoppers’ incomes are expected to remain under pressure. The retailer said profits fell 2.7% to £154m for the year to 31 August, with sales up 2.5% to £2.78bn. It said online sales, up by 46.2%, were “well ahead of the market”. Online accounted for 13.2% of its total sales. (BBC)