Business news in brief: Stagecoach | Blackadders | Ship on the Shore | Dignity

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TRANSPORT group Stagecoach has recruited its latest non-executive director from fellow Perth-based outfit SSE.

Gregor Alexander, who has served as the utility firm’s finance director since 2002, will join Stagecoach’s board on 1 April and will take over as chairman of its audit committee on 1 July, when Gary Watts becomes deputy chairman.

Stagecoach chairman Sir George Mathewson said: “Gregor’s sound financial background and experience with SSE will further strengthen the board, and his insight will be valuable as we deliver on our strategy of sustainable growth.”

Ship on the Shore lands banking deal

SHIP on the Shore, the Leith-based restaurant, is to refit its kitchen so that it can serve more diners after sealing a £60,000 finance deal with Spanish lender Santander.

Owners Murray and Tracey Georgeson opened the site in 2006 and now plan to redecorate the dining room.

David Gallacher, relationship director for Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Murray and Tracey have a great reputation in Edinburgh and beyond, and have secured their place as one of Edinburgh’s most desirable dining destinations.”

Blackadders boosts Edinburgh team

Dundee-based law firm Blackadders has doubled the size of its property team in Edinburgh after unveiling three new appointments.

Property manager Scott Whigham has made the move from Hunters Residential, where he spent eight years as senior valuer. Eileen Henderson has also joined from Hunters, having worked as its senior negotiator for 12 years.

Graeme Warren, who previously worked for Blackadders in Dundee between 2009 and 2010, has returned to the firm as an associate conveyancing solicitor.

Dividend hike for Dignity investors

Dignity, the listed provider of funeral services that has its roots in Glasgow, has announced a 10 per cent increase in its final dividend after delivering a 13 per cent rise in profits for 2012.

The firm, which recently completed the £58.3 million acquisition of Yorkshire-based rival Yew Holdings, posted a pre-tax profit of £45.m, up from £40.3m in 2011, and said shareholders will receive a final dividend of 10.75p a share.

Dignity owns more than 600 funeral parlours across the UK and chief executive Mike McCollum said the outlook for the coming year was “positive”.

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