Thursday business round-up: Five key stories of the day

Wood Group said its balance sheet and cashflow generation 'remain strong'
Wood Group said its balance sheet and cashflow generation 'remain strong'
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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Energy services giant Wood Group told investors that it was confident of meeting its profit goals despite “challenging” market conditions. The Aberdeen-based group is predicting underlying earnings of about $465 million (£306m) for 2015 – down from the $549.6m profit it delivered a year earlier.

Industrial gas meter specialist Energy Assets struck a deal to buy a Clackmannanshire utility networks company for up to £5m. The Livingston-based group said the acquisition of Blyth Utilities would create “growth opportunities to businesses within the UK housebuilding sector”.

The Bank of England ended another year leaving interest rates at record lows as the cost of borrowing was held once more at 0.5 per cent. Members of the Bank’s nine-strong monetary policy committee (MPC) voted eight to one to keep rates unchanged in its final decision of 2015.

Venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners invested £10m in a technology firm focused on the legal and dispute management arenas. The investment was led by director Gordon Beveridge, who said the firm had been “very impressed” with in Peppermint Technology’s growth since it was launched in 2010.

Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) said it would lend its expertise to the development of a test facility in Japan. EMEC will advise on the infrastructure needed to develop the test site, in Nagasaki Prefecture, including subsea cables and grid connections, as well as operational procedures and health and safety.