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

Akamai is paying an undisclosed sum for Livingston-based web security firm Bloxx
Akamai is paying an undisclosed sum for Livingston-based web security firm Bloxx
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Here are six of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Bloxx, the Livingston-based web security specialist, was sold to US technology group Akamai for an undisclosed sum by shareholders including Archangel Investors and the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB). Bloxx, which employs 55 people at its offices in Livingston and Newton, Massachusetts, was founded in 1999 and provides web and email filtering for medium-sized and large organisations, helping to protect 800 million devices around the world.

Bob Keiller, the outgoing chief executive of energy services giant Wood Group, was named as the new chairman of Scottish Enterprise. Keiller, who is due to stand down as boss of Aberdeen-based Wood Group at the end of this year, will succeed Crawford Gillies at the helm of the economic development agency from 1 January.

Commercial law firm MacRoberts said it was looking forward to an “exciting” year after reporting a 1.3 per cent rise in profits to almost £6.2 million for the year to April, on turnover 2 per cent higher at £18m. Managing partner John Macmillan said the growth followed the addition of seven new partners in the past 12 months, bringing its total to 47.

Mutual life and pensions group Royal London said it expects “more of the same” for the rest of this year and in 2016 after posting results it described as a “new record for the company”. The firm, which has 1,142 of its total 2,958 employees in Scotland, said new life and pensions business grew by 35 per cent in the nine months to 30 September, reaching £4.86 billion.

Glasgow-based pharma group Alfacyte is moving to the life sciences business park BioCity Scotland later this month after recently securing £350,000 of investment to help develop its vaccine for the treatment of peanut allergy. The firm said it had decided on the switch to BioCity because it would meet “the needs of the growing business”.

Banking giant HSBC surprised analysts by posting pre-tax profits of $6.1bn (£4bn) for the three months to September, an increase of 32 per cent compared with the same period last year. The figure for the third quarter beat forecasts of $5.2bn.