Scottish business wire: Parkmead | Nationwide | ZoneFox

Last night's Scottish Business Awards in Edinburgh, where Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio was the guest speaker, saw flight search engine boss Gareth Williams named entrepreneur of the year. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Last night's Scottish Business Awards in Edinburgh, where Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio was the guest speaker, saw flight search engine boss Gareth Williams named entrepreneur of the year. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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The main business stories of the day plus recent investments and grants achieved by Scottish firms.

Parkmead explores more deals on back of low oil price

Parkmead is on the hunt for more deals amid a tough market for oil and gas firms. Picture: Contributed

Parkmead is on the hunt for more deals amid a tough market for oil and gas firms. Picture: Contributed

Oil and gas producer Parkmead said it was looking to take advantage of the depressed market by searching out more acquisition opportunities. The Aberdeen-based firm, led by executive chairman Tom Cross, recently upped its stake in two North Sea oil fields – Dolphin and Perth – in a move that lifted its reserves by 19 per cent to 27.9 million barrels of oil equivalent. Cross said: “Parkmead is well positioned to take advantage of the ongoing lower oil price environment, and the opportunities that are arising from this.”

Nationwide profits dented by interest rate cut

Nationwide saw its profits slip 13 per cent as it grapples with low interest rates and its decision to pass on the base rate cut to its members. The building society said statutory pre-tax profits fell to £696 million in the six months to 30 September, down from £802m for the same period last year. However, the mutual said trading was “strong” for the half year, with gross mortgage lending jumping 17 per cent to £17.5 billion.

ZoneFox seeks to treble team in fight against data risks

Edinburgh-based security software specialist ZoneFox has set itself the ambitious target of trebling its headcount next year as it rolls out its new product aimed at protecting firms from “insider threats”. The start-up currently employs ten people and chief executive Jamie Graves said that figure was set to rise to 20 by the beginning of next year. He told The Scotsman: “By the end of next year, if everything goes to plan, we’ll be up to 30.”

Martin Flanagan: New boss has work cut out to revive Asda

“If Asda’s new chief executive, Sean Clarke, didn’t appreciate the scale of the task in turning around the once‑imperious but now listing Asda supertanker, he does now,” writes Martin Flanagan. “Sales declined 5.8 per cent in the three months to September, an improvement of sorts, but with clearly much more still to do.”

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RECENT INVESTMENTS

Company: Pick Protection, Glasgow

Industry: Attack alarms

Amount of investment: £744,000

Investors: Equity Gap, University of Strathclyde, Gabriel Investment Syndicate, Scottish Investment Bank and Unipart

Company: Traveltek, East Kilbride

Industry: Travel software

Amount of investment: £5,300,000

Investors: YFM Equity Partners

Company: snap40, Edinburgh

Industry: Healthcare technology

Amount of investment: £2,000,000

Investors: Par Equity and private investors

Company: Swipii, Glasgow

Industry: Customer loyalty

Amount of investment: £2,000,000

Investors: Undisclosed

RECENT GRANTS

Company: Collagen Solutions, Glasgow

Industry: Life sciences

Grant awarded: €500,000 (£450,000)

Type of grant: EU Horizon 2020

Company: Omega Diagnostics, Alva

Industry: Life sciences

Grant awarded: £1,800,000

Type of grant: Scottish Enterprise R&D

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