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.
RBS plans to float branches on stock market
ROYAL Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester admitted yesterday the bank was struggling to sell a batch of branches and is preparing to float them on the stock market.The bank disclosed the move alongside another huge annual loss and a raft of plans including the partial-float of its Citizens bank in the US and further shrinkage of the investment banking operations, mainly in London and overseas (Scotsman).
Lloyds losses narrow to £570m in 2012
Lloyds Banking Group has narrowed its pre-tax losses for 2012 to £570m, from £3.5bn the previous year. The group, which is 40%-owned by the government, said its losses were primarily because of making provisions of £3.6bn for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (BBC).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Genius buys Finsbury’s gluten-free business for £21m
GLUTEN-FREE bakery firm Genius Foods will rise to become “one of the largest food groups in Scotland” after unveiling a “transformational” takeover of Finsbury’s Free From. Under the £21 million deal announced yesterday, Edinburgh-based Genius will buy the Livwell bakery in Hull and United Central Bakeries (UCB) in Bathgate, where the firm’s breads have been produced under contract Scotsman)
Scottish engineering firms remain optimistic
Scottish engineering companies remain optimistic despite a “roller coaster” period for orders and output volumes, a survey today reveals. According to Scottish Engineering’s latest quarterly review, both order intake and output levels fell during the past three months. It caps a turbulent 18-month period which has seen UK orders and export trade swing between positive and negative territory in consecutive quarters (Scotsman)
Funding boost puts Cooling Solutions on expansion trail
A WEST Lothian refrigeration and air conditioning business has moved into larger premises in Livingston, paving the way for further growth around the UK. Cooling Solutions (UK), whose operations span sales, services and installation, has invested around £425,000 in the 13,500 sq ft site on Brucefield Industry Park (Herald).
MEDIA & LEISURE
Edinburgh publisher Mainstream to close this year
THE world of Scottish publishing was last night reeling at the news that leading Edinburgh publisher Mainstream is to close at the end of the year. Both rival publishers, Publishing Scotland and Mainstream employees had no inkling that the company, which was founded by Bill Campbell and Peter MacKenzie in 1978, was facing closure. Up to ten jobs will go (Scotsman).