A ROUNDUP of he latest business news, as Scottish Enterprise support helps increase turnover for 1600 companies and Tesco Bank forced to cut its mortgage rates.
SE support helps push up turnover
ABOUT 1,600 companies that receive support from Scottish Enterprise have seen their combined turnover grow by £1.2 billion in the past year.
The development agency said the figure represents an increase of more than 50 per cent compared with the £790 million growth recorded for 2010-11, with manufacturing and engineering businesses accounting for nine of the ten fastest-growing companies.
BrewDog, the Fraserburgh-based brewer, said the support it has received from a Scottish Enterprise account manager had helped to grow its sales by 110 per cent to £11m last year.
Albion Automotive slips into the red
ALBION Automotive, the venerable Glasgow-based engineering business, plunged to an operating loss last year as the cost of restructuring the business following the last recession mounted.
The US-owned company, which manufactures components including axles and crankshafts for lorries and buses, saw its gross profit of £876,000 in 2010 deteriorate to a loss of £262,000 in 2011.
It cut a further 19 jobs, taking staff numbers to 161 – down from more than 200 in 2009 – but it booked no further redundancy charges.
Tesco forced into mortgage rates cut
TESCO Bank has been forced to cut the rates on its mortgage products just a month after what critics described as a “disappointing” launch.
Ray Boulger, of broker John Charcol, told Citywire that Tesco’s decision to cut its rates is “not entirely surprising”.
He said that cuts by other lenders meant Tesco’s mortgages had started to look less competitive.
The supermarket bank “has clearly done less business than anticipated and is reacting in the only logical way to drum up volume”, he told the financial website.
Optimus opts for growth over profits
INTERIM profits at Optimus have dipped after the Aberdeen-based oil and gas engineering consultancy increased its headcount from 70 to 82.
The company posted a profit of £256,000 for the six months to 30 June, down from £354,000, despite turnover rising by 45 per cent to £4.7 million.
Optimus, which lists Edinburgh-based driller Melrose Resources among its clients, opened an office in Inverness in May and is on course to have 100 staff by the end of the year. Founder Ian Bell said he is “sacrificing short-term profits to fund long-term growth”.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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