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Scottish Business Briefing - Thursday 15 November 2012

SSE has defended nine per cent price hikes. Picture: PA

SSE has defended nine per cent price hikes. Picture: PA

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.

ENERGY & UTILITIES

SSE pledges to raise dividends as profits soar

ENERGY giant SSE has told investors that it is confident of continuing to deliver inflation-busting dividend growth after reporting a 38 per cent jump in first-half profits. The group, which trades as Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric and Swalec, announced an interim dividend of 25.2p per share, an increase of 5 per cent over last year’s payout, as it unveiled an adjusted pre-tax profit of £397.5 million for the six months to 30 September. (Scotsman)

Scotgold raises estimates of gold in Tyndrum mine

The company aiming to create Scotland’s only commercial gold mine has raised its estimates for the amount of precious metal at its Cononish site near Tyndrum. Scotgold Resources said “measured and indicated” resources of gold now stand at 82,600 ounces – 50 per cent higher than previously thought. (Scotsman)

Aberdeen shipping firm Craig Group sees profits up

Shipping and energy services firm Craig Group has seen turnover and profits climb as it continues to modernise its fleet of vessels. The Aberdeen-based business said turnover rose by £11.4m to £123.3m in the year to April, while operating profits were up £1.7m to £14.8m. Craig Group said there was a strong performance across all divisions. (BBC)

British Gas-owner Centrica defends imminent price rise

British Gas-owner Centrica has defended plans to raise average prices by 6% from Friday, saying they were due to costs out of its control. The company, which issued a trading update, said wholesale gas prices were now 13% higher this winter than last. (BBC)

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

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

AG Barr-Britvic merger could see 500 jobs axed

IRN-BRU manufacturer AG Barr and rival Britvic unveiled their £1.4 billion merger proposal yesterday to create one of Europe’s biggest soft drinks businesses in a deal that will see up to 500 jobs shed. The tie-up will see investors in Cumbernauld‑based Barr, which also owns Rubicon and Tizer, own 37 per cent of the new entity, to be called Barr Britvic Soft Drinks. (Scotsman)

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

INDUSTRY

Macfarlane plans major expansion in Ireland

PACKAGING specialist Macfarlane is poised for significant expansion in Ireland as the Glasgow-based group extends its overseas business. A new Irish base in County Wicklow will allow Macfarlane to boost production of its re-sealable food packaging. (Scotsman)

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

 

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