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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.