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

BP is shedding at least 4,000 jobs, including 600 from its North Sea operations. Picture: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire
BP is shedding at least 4,000 jobs, including 600 from its North Sea operations. Picture: Andy Buchanan/PA Wire
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Here are six of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Oil giant BP said it would shed about 600 jobs from its North Sea operations over the next two years. The firm, which is to axe at least 4,000 posts around the world, took the decision in light of “toughening conditions” in the industry, and a spokesman said that the majority of the jobs are expected to be lost this year.

Flint Group, the global packaging and printing supplies firm, warned that 117 jobs at its Dundee site were under threat. The firm, headquartered in Luxembourg, said the plant was at risk of closure amid “significant and worsening financial losses” linked to a downturn in the print market.

Travel search engine Skyscanner raised £128 million from five new investors, including Edinburgh fund manager Baillie Gifford and joint venture partner Yahoo Japan. The move, which is understood to value the Edinburgh-based company at about $1.6 billion (£1.1bn), is aimed at accelerating its growth in the £322bn online travel market.

Healthcare entrepreneur ­David Moulsdale is eyeing a return to profit at his Optical Express empire this year – despite latest figures revealing it has continued to rack up heavy losses. The costs involved in closing a number of underperforming stores contributed to pre-tax losses at the company behind his retail business, DCM (Optical Holdings), more than doubling to £15.4m in the year to 27 December.

Housebuilder Tulloch said it would celebrate its 90th anniversary this year by returning to the Central Belt, having exited the region in the wake of the 2008 recession. The Inverness-based firm will spend £40m on developing two sites – East Kilbride this spring, and Glenrothes in the second half of the year.

Alternative asset manager Aquila Capital unveiled its first investment in the Scottish forestry sector. The firm has acquired 3,100 hectares of forest – consisting of a mix of sitka spruce, lodgepole pine and other fast-growing coniferous species – for institutional investors.