Catch up with the main breaking business stories of the day.
Activity and optimism in Scotland’s engineering industry has increased for the first time in two years as the shock of Brexit has been absorbed by the sector and stability returns to the supply chain. According to the latest quarterly review published today by Scottish Engineering, there has been an improvement in orders, output and staffing in the final quarter of 2016. It follows seven quarters of negative results up to the nadir of the last report in September when, at six weeks after the EU referendum, the industry reached its gloomiest.
A Glenrothes electronics company is set to inject £1.25 million into its operations to extend its reach into markets for microscopic devices used in everything from printers and mobile phones to medical technology, cars and industrial manufacturing. Supported by £220,000 of regional selective assistance from Scottish Enterprise, Semefab is purchasing new equipment to increase its efficiency and begin production of micro-electrical-mechanical sensors (MEMS), which typically combine microprocessors handling data from a number of sensors, all at a size of one millimetre or less.
The trust responsible for the seven links courses at the home of golf has signed a global clothing agreement with a Japanese clothing group. Under the deal with St Andrews Links, Tokyo-based TSI will design, produce and sell official collections using the firm’s family of brands, including Tom Morris – the world’s oldest golf business. Trust chief executive Euan Loudon said: “We believe that this is the right partner and the right time to add strength and quality to the St Andrews Links brand.”
“Scottish Engineering’s latest snapshot provides a glimmer of hope for a sector that has not had its troubles to seek in recent times,” writes Scott Reid. “Encouragingly, the trade body has flagged an improvement in orders, output and staffing in the closing months of 2016. Granted, after seven quarters of negative results, the pick-up can be seen as coming from a pretty low base.”