Scottish Business Briefing – Thursday 1 November, 2012
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.
Clydesdale puts a brave face on first full-year loss and job cuts
Clydesdale boss David Thorburn yesterday claimed the worst was behind the bank as it unveiled its first ever full-year loss amid a hike in bad debts. The group, which also owns Yorkshire Bank, confirmed it will have cut almost 1,000 jobs before the end of March, out of a target of 1,400, as part of a massive restructuring programme unveiled in April.
Standard Life sales fall but new pension rules offer hope
STANDARD Life has revealed a fall in new business as sales of its corporate schemes were hit by companies putting their plans on hold ahead of a shake-up in pension provision. The life and pensions giant said corporate pension sales tumbled 38 per cent to £635 million in the three months to 30 September, but insisted it was well placed to benefit from the changing regulatory landscape.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Royal Dutch Shell sees profits fall
Royal Dutch Shell has reported profits of $6.12bn (£4.5bn) for the past three months, down from $7.2bn for same the quarter last year. The Anglo-Dutch company blamed the fall on lower oil and gas prices. Excluding one-off items such tax changes and other factors, the third-quarter profits were $6.6bn, down 6% on last year.
Record £1m profit for Dron & Dickson
DRON & Dickson, which designs and supplies electrical systems for use in hazardous areas on oil rigs, has more than doubled profits ahead of a push into the Middle East market. Stirling-based Dron & Dickson saw a record £1 million pre-tax profit in the year to May compared with £423,000 in the preceding year as it benefited from buoyant activity levels in the core oil and gas market.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Irn Bru maker given ‘surprise’ deadline extension for takeover talks
ANALYSTS today raised questions about the complexity of Irn Bru-maker AG Barr’s proposed merger with Pepsi bottler Britvic after the Takeover Panel gave the pair a “surprise” second three-week extension to the deadline for their talks.
Stagecoach buys Wigan bus business from FirstGroup for £12m
TRANSPORT giant FirstGroup ploughed ahead with its £100 million asset disposal programme today by selling its bus business in Wigan to Stagecoach for £12m, raising eyebrows in the City. The Aberdeen-based company unveiled plans in March to dispose of some of its bus services so that it could concentrate on “high-growth” areas.
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