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Scottish Business Briefing - Friday 15 November

Centrica, owner of British Gas, saw its shares fall sharply yesterday. Picture: PA

Centrica, owner of British Gas, saw its shares fall sharply yesterday. Picture: PA

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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.

ECONOMY

Scotland’s richest get richer as wage gap widens

SCOTLAND’S highest earners have pulled away from the rest of the country’s workforce, after increasing their share of total incomes by nearly 50 per cent in a decade. The top 1 per cent – made up of 25,000 people earning more than £120,000 a year – are estimated to earn a tenth of all income in Scotland, and 20 times more than those in the bottom 1 per cent, according to a study published today. (Scotsman

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

ENERGY

Centrica cuts profit target, vows to act on bills

Scottish Gas parent company Centrica saw its shares fall sharply today after it warned that its annual profits would fail to live up to City expectations. The weaker-than-expected update came as the group said it had been forced into hiking bills for millions of households in order to offset losses in its residential arm. Centrica said overall group earnings were now likely to remain flat on the £2.7 billion reported in 2012 due to “challenging” conditions in its business supply arms in the UK and United States. (Scotsman

Read all today’s energy news from scotsman.com

FINANCE

Nationwide reports big rise in profits

Nationwide Building Society, the UK’s largest mutual lender, has reported a big rise in profits for the six months to the end of September. Pre-tax profits rose to £270m for the period, up from £103m a year earlier. Gross mortgage lending rose 37% to £14bn. Graham Beale, Nationwide’s chief executive, said “strong business volumes” had driven “an excellent financial performance”. (BBC)

Read all today’s finance news from scotsman.com

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Devro to invest £40m in US site to cut costs

Sausage skin maker Devro is to spend £40 million on expanding its manufacturing site in South Carolina in a bid to save about £8m a year. The Moodiesburn-based firm also said it continued to mull an investment in Chinese operations. Although sales volumes remained unchanged compared with a year ago, Devro said price rises ushered in during the first half have helped lift revenues since the start of July. (Scotsman

Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

Realising the Potential of Life Sciences in Scotland – 25 Feb 2014 - Edinburgh

Scotland has undoubted expertise in the life sciences field, however, are we making the most of this expertise? Join industry experts, academics and government agencies as we discuss how the sector can continue to move forward. Book online today and secure your 20% early bird discount. (The Scotsman Conferences)

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Loganair’s sales and profits take off

Loganair, the Scottish airline, has made a solid start to its current financial year after overcoming turbulent market conditions to book double-digit hikes in sales and profits. The privately-owned carrier, which can trace its roots back to the early 1960s, also carried a record number of passengers in the year to 31 March, figures released today reveal. (Scotsman)

Macfarlane on course in 2013

MACFARLANE Group remains on course to increase underlying profits and reduce its debt by the end of the year. The Glasgow-based packaging company said its traditionally stronger second half of the year was progressing as expected. Sales in the packaging distribution division are running ahead of the 2012 figures in the year to date thanks to new business wins. (Herald)

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

 

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