Scottish Business Briefing – May 13th 2013

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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.

ECONOMICS

Producers to pin export hopes on weak sterling

MANUFACTURERS hope that a weaker pound will give them an exports boost in the coming months despite output falling for the past 12 months. Small and medium-sized manufacturing companies reported that their orders and output continued to fall in the three months to 30 April, according to the CBI’s latest quarterly small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) trends survey.

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

The Economics of Independence 2013 – 4 June, Edinburgh

Join delegates for this truly unmissable event as expert speakers including: Nicola Sturgeon, Alistair Darling, Rupert Soames, Jim McColl and leading academics as they debate arguably the most crucial issues in the Scottish independence debate.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

ENERGY & UTILITIES

Massive oil payback in pipeline as platform repaired

ENERGY giant Taqa has started work to potentially unlock 1billion barrels of oil in the North Sea. But the industry could face major disruption while an ageing platform needed to bring the reserves ashore is repaired. The Abu Dhabi-based company has shut down Cormorant Alpha – which is crucial to the operation of 27 fields in the northern North Sea – after a series of oil-leak scares.

Read all today’s energy and utilities news from scotsman.com

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Montpeliers warns of two tough years

THE owner of some of Edinburgh’s best-known bars have predicted two further years of gloom with conditions “even more challenging” than those following the credit crunch, recent accounts show. Montpeliers, which owns trendy Indigo Yard and Tigerlily, highlighted the risk to its business if consumers continue to keep money in their wallets, as well as the rise in competition in the capital.

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

INDUSTRY

Port of Ardersier seeks to switch from oil to wind

Developers are seeking the go ahead to turn a former oil fabrication yard in the Highlands into a manufacturing “super-hub” for renewables – delivering a second jobs boom for the site. The Port of Ardersier has just submitted plans to Highland Council, Marine Scotland and Transport Scotland to transform the site – which lies between Inverness and Nairn – into a major European manufacturing port for the offshore wind industry

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

RETAIL

Shop inflation at new low as retailers cut prices

Shop price inflation fell to its lowest level for three and a half years during April as the squeeze on household finances forced retailers to offer more discounts in an effort to entice consumers to spend. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned that an early start to summer sales could pile pressure on already slim margins as figures released today show shop price inflation fell to 0.4 per cent last month, from 1.4 per cent in

March.

Scots stores key to Hobbs strong sales

The chairman of the Hobbs London womenswear business says a strong performance in Scotland has played a key part in helping the company shrug off the gloom affecting retailers by achieving buoyant trading results. Iain MacRitchie said stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh are among the top five performers for the group, which posted a 16% increase in sales in the key Christmas selling period.

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com