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
Iberdrola backing UK assets with £3.8bn pledge
ENERGY giant Iberdrola has pledged to plough more than 40 per cent of its total investment until 2014 into its UK operations as its ScottishPower business proved a star turn in resilient annual trading results (Scotsman).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
AG Barr and Britvic look to allay merger fears
AG Barr and Britvic yesterday pledged to keep their merger plans alive by convincing watchdogs that the deal will not have a major impact on competition in the soft drinks sector. The tie-up to create one of Europe’s biggest drinks firms was referred by the Office of Fair Trading to the Competition Commission on Wednesday after it raised competition concerns over certain brands (Scotsman).
Asian Scotch slowdown hits Pernod Ricard sales
FRENCH drinks giant Pernod Ricard yesterday warned of slower growth in Scotch sales in Asia following the handover of political power in China and structural changes in the South Korean market. The group – which owns Paisley-based Chivas Brothers, Scotland’s second-largest distiller – was hit by the Communist state’s leadership changes, which dented consumer spending (Scotsman).
Jobs boost forecast as Murchland plans to expand
Family-run building business William Murchland & Company plans to expand its roofing maintenance division after securing £350,000 of funding from Bank of Scotland. The Kilmarnock firm said it expects to create at least a dozen jobs across the next 18 months (Herald).
MEDIA & LEISURE
SCOTSMAN CONFERENCES The Future of the Media in Scotland Join us on 9th of April as a formidable panel of speakers take to the stage at this not-to-be-missed event. Speakers including: Kevin Bakhurst (RTE); Ashley Highfield (Johnston Press) & Elizabeth Partyka (STV) will tackle the tough questions facing Scotland’s media in the 21st century. Book your place today. (Scotsman Conferences)
US firm Daktari wins funds amid plans to open Scots base
AN American firm that has been developing products for use in monitoring HIV patients plans to create 126 jobs in Scotland. Daktari Diagnostics has been awarded £2 million official funding to encourage the firm to open a base in the country (Herald).
Alexander Dennis win bulk of £76m FirstGroup order
FIRSTGROUP yesterday placed a £76 million order for more than 460 buses, with the lion’s share of the contracts awarded to Falkirk-based Alexander Dennis. The manufacturer, part-owned by Sir Brian Souter of FirstGroup’s rival Stagecoach, will deliver 222 buses with Ballymena-based Wrightbus supplying a further 179 (Scotsman).