Scottish Business Briefing- August 8th 2013

New governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Picture: Getty
New governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Picture: Getty
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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.

FINANCE

New Bank chief says interest rates low for 3 years

The new Governor of the Bank of England announced it will not increase interest rates until unemployment in the UK falls below 7 per cent, which could take up to three years. In his first major announcement in the post, Mark Carney said a economic recovery in the UK “is now under way”, but acknowledged it “remains weak by historic standards.”

Standard Life profit growth misses City forecasts

Life and pensions group Standard Life has reported a lower-than-expected rise in profits for the first half, despite enjoying record new business sales. The Edinburgh-based firm posted an operating profit before tax of £304 million for the first six months of the year, up 6 per cent on the same period last year, but well below the 12 per cent increase analysts had expected.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Arran Brewery sets £4m target as it launches kegs

ARRAN Brewery will today unveil more details of its crowd-funding plan, as it aims to emulate rival BrewDog by raising £4 million from fans of its beers. The brewery will offer shares to investors at the end of October, having first mooted the idea of crowd-funding back in November, with the first details being revealed today on how much it plans to raise.

Profits rise again at Morrison Bowmore

MORRISON Bowmore Distillers achieved a further jump in profits last year as its single malts turned in strong performances amid the continuing buoyancy of the wider Scotch whisky industry, newly filed accounts reveal. The Glasgow-based company’s directors describe the financial performance as “excellent” in their report on the accounts, which have just become available from Companies House.

MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE

Scots cities get Vodafone 4G by Christmas

EDINBURGH and Glasgow will be covered by Vodafone’s fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network “by Christmas” after the telecoms giant unveiled its roll-out plans, including deals with Sky Sports and Spotify. Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone’s UK operations, said customers would be able to opt for a sports package or a music package, giving them access to 20 million online songs.

Ladbrokes results hit by gaming machine slowdown

Bookmaker Ladbrokes has reported a sharp fall in profits, hit by a bigger-than-expected slowdown in gaming machine revenues. Pre-tax profits for the first six months of 2013 came in at £55.1m, down 49% from the same period last year. It also said returns from its gaming machines in July had been hit by the UK’s “prolonged period of hot weather”.

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