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Scottish Business Briefing – December 16th 2013

John Swinney says Scotland's economy is performing. Picture: John Swinney

John Swinney says Scotland's economy is performing. Picture: John Swinney

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.

ECONOMY

Bright prospects for jobs, says Swinney

Finance secretary John Swinney today insisted that Scotland’s economy is outpacing the rest of the UK as it emerged demand for staff has reached a record high and business confidence has risen for the tenth month in a row. However, retailers were warned they could face a “challenging” Christmas after a new report showed the number of shoppers on Scotland’s high streets continued to fall last month, although industry watchers said canny consumers may be holding out for a last-minute rush.

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.com

FINANCE

Partners at accountants see pay soar by nearly a quarter

Partners of big-four accountancy firm KPMG have seen their average pay soar by 23% to £713,000 after boosting profits in the year. The group, which has 18 partners at its Aberdeen office, expects to boost staff numbers in the Granite City by 20% this year. The Scottish firm will also nearly double the number of employees in its Glasgow “tax centre of excellence” from 100 to 180.

Read all today’s finance news from scotsman.com

ENERGY

Aggreko to power World Cup and Commonwealth Games

Temporary power provider Aggreko today predicted its full-year results would come in “slightly” ahead of City forecasts as it secured deals for next year’s World Cup in Brazil and Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games. The Glasgow-based firm said revenues for the year to the end of December would be about 3 per cent higher than last year’s £1.57 billion, while trading profits would be about £335 million

Ineos boss says Hinkley nuclear power too expensive

Power from the new Hinkley C nuclear generator will be too expensive, the boss of one of the UK’s biggest energy consumers has warned. Jim Ratcliffe, whose company Ineos owns the Grangemouth plant in Scotland, told the BBC that UK manufacturers would find the price unaffordable. The government has guaranteed a price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (Mwh).

Read all today’s energy news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Lockheed targeting jobs boost

Aerospace and defence group Lockheed Martin, which recently bought fast-growing Scottish technology firm Amor Group, is planning to create 1,000 jobs in the UK over the next two years. The US company, which makes the F-22 fighter jet and U-2 spy plane, last month landed an IT contract with Nats, the UK’s air traffic control service, and its acquisition of Amor in September has boosted its presence in the North Sea oil and gas market.

TotsBots prepares for fund injection to aid expansion

A SCOTTISH nappy-making company is planning to add up to 10 jobs as well as investing in systems and processes to get itself ready to look for a funding injection. Glasgow based TotsBots, which makes all of its re-usable and eco-friendly products in Glasgow, has spent heavily on revamping its online presence. That has given it a website which is adaptable for mobile devices and easily customisable into foreign language portals to help attract more customers from abroad.

Read all today’s transport and industry news from scotsman.com

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