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Scottish Business Briefing – 8 January 2014

John Lewis director Andrew Murphy. Picture: Robert Perry

John Lewis director Andrew Murphy. Picture: Robert Perry

WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Ex-Hearts boss sells firm to American food giant

FORMER Hearts football club chairman Chris Robinson yesterday sold his catering company, Heritage Portfolio, to American giant Centerplate in what is believed to have been a multi-million pound deal. Robinson, who spent 11 years as chairman and chief executive at Hearts and who oversaw the rebuilding of its Tynecastle stadium, will step back from the day-to-day running of the firm following the deal but will remain as an “ambassador” for the business. (Scotsman)

Wemyss sees growth despite disruption

THE Wemyss Development Company, the historic family business with interests in property, agriculture, spirits, wine and renewables, has seen profits jump by 28% - in spite of unrest in the Middle East disrupting its tea operation in Kenya. Wemyss, which is on track to open its first distillery, at Kingsbarns in Fife, by the late autumn, booked pre-tax profits of £8.44 million for year to March 31, 2013. (Herald)

Harlequin chief to expand restaurant business

SANJAY Majhu has revealed he is eyeing sites in Glasgow and Inverness under a plan to expand his Harlequin Leisure restaurants business although he said conditions remain tough in the trade. The entrepreneur said he is in talks to acquire a business with a sizable outlet in Glasgow, in which he plans to open an Indian restaurant under a new brand. (Herald)

(http://www.scotsman.com/business/food-drink-agriculture|Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com|Click here}

Scotsman Conference

The Digital Fabric of Scotland: The Challenge of stitching it together - 29th January – Edinburgh

Join us and the Scottish Council on Archives as we bring the first event of its kind to Scotland. Fiona Hyslop MSP Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs and Annelies van den Belt, CEO of DC Thomson Family History are among some of the expert speakers that will aim to raise awareness of digital records among key decision makers across different sectors, help build a Scottish digital records community to collaborate on finding the best technological solutions and securing investment and  examine the options for ensuring long term access to valuable digital resources. Visit the Scotsman Conferences website for more details.

RETAIL

Sainsbury’s hails record Christmas but Q3 sales slow

Supermarket group Sainsbury’s today said it had enjoyed its best ever festive season, with customers spending almost £17 million in one hour on 23 December. The retailer, which is battling with Asda to take second place behind market leader Tesco, said the seven days in the run-up to Christmas marked a record trading week, with more than 28 million transactions. The grocer’s convenience chain raked in £7 million on Christmas Eve, chief executive Justin King said.

(Scotsman)

Council warned ‘you could kill city centre’

ONE of the UK’s leading retail bosses has issued a stark warning to civic leaders in Aberdeen over the future development of the city centre. John Lewis director Andrew Murphy said inactivity would “kill” the area – despite a clearly buoyant local economy. He also said that successive local authorities had “failed to seize opportunities” presented by the success of the oil and gas industry. (Press & Journal)

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Further rise forecast as car dealers enjoy 2013

Sales of new cars north of the Border are likely to continue rising in 2014 after dealers enjoyed their best year since the onset of the credit crisis. Industry leaders forecast a steady year-on-year increase in sales as it was revealed yesterday that new car registrations in the 12 months to 31 December had passed the 200,000 mark for the first time since 2007.

(Scotsman)

Read all today’s transport and industry news from scotsman.com

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