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

Clydesdale Bank chief executive David Duffy
Clydesdale Bank chief executive David Duffy
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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Clydesdale Bank revealed new chief executive David Duffy was awarded a £500,000 signing-on bonus when he joined the group in June, giving him a total pay package of £1.35 million in his first few months in the job. The Glasgow-based lender’s annual report said the “commencement award” will be paid in shares and will vest over a three-year period.

Shares in shopfitting and interiors group Havelock Europa plunged as it warned of a “material” hit to its finances after being told that a major client is cutting back its spending. The Fife-based group said its largest financial services client would be “substantially reducing” plans for refurbishment and development next year.

Industry figures showed that discount retailers Aldi and Lidl now control a record 10 per cent slice of the UK grocery market after eating into the dominance of the “big four” supermarket chains. Aldi has grown its sales by 16.5 per cent over the past year, while fellow German-owned chain Lidl saw its takings jump by 19 per cent.

Packaging group Macfarlane told investors it was confident of delivering annual profits “well above” last year’s results. The Glasgow-based firm, which in August reported a 52 per cent surge in first-half earnings, said sales at its packaging distribution arm were up 14 per cent year-on-year, helped by the recent acquisition of East Midlands rival One Packaging.

Budget airline EasyJet said the Paris terror attacks will have a minimal impact as “resilient” passengers still want to travel. The comments came as the carrier revealed pre-tax profits of £686m for the 12 months to the end of September, up 18.1 per cent on the previous year and representing the fifth straight year of record profits.