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.
Oil firms’ fears over tax
ALMOST eight out of ten oil executives believe taxes on the industry will rise if Scotland votes to become independent. But nearly 64 per cent said the referendum debate was having no impact on North Sea investment plans, with the supply of skilled employees emerging as their most pressing area of concern, according to a report.
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Vertu expands Scottish presence in Hyundai deal
Car dealer Vertu Motors, which trades under the Macklin banner in Scotland, has boosted its presence north of the Border with the acquisition of two Hyundai dealerships. The firm has paid about £700,000 for the two sites in Edinburgh, which were previously owned by Archers of Edinburgh and Phoenix Car Company. The deal takes Vertu’s total dealership network to 101 outlets and makes it the largest Hyundai dealer in the UK, with seven sites.
Hundreds of jobs face axe as Barclays closes PPI call centre
Barclays has been accused of a betrayal of more than 200 Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims staff who are set to lose their jobs at its Glasgow call centre. Shocked staff were summoned to a meeting by managers yesterday to be told that 244 jobs are to go at the bank’s only Scottish PPI centre, which is due to close next year. The workload for dealing with the thousands of claims is to be absorbed by the company’s centres in Sunderland, Liverpool and its London headquarters.
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
Glaxo expected to unveil jobs at Montrose plant
Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is today expected to unveil new jobs at its Montrose plant which it once came close to closing. GSK has had a presence in the town for more than 60 years and now employs about 270 workers producing ingredients for its respiratory treatments. Finance Secretary John Swinney is due to meet Roger Connor, the group’s president of global manufacturing and supply, at the facility and the pair will reveal more details about the investment to the workforce.
Optos: Record client numbers at eye scanner maker
Eye scanner company Optos yesterday unveiled a record rise in customer numbers as the City shrugged off a 62 per cent drop in the firm’s full-year profits. The Dunfermline-based firm had already warned investors that its pre-tax profits would be much lower this year because fewer customers were due to renew their contracts. A total of 1,271 customers installed Optos’ machines in the year to 30 September, taking its client base up to 5,945.
Wolfson audio chips help to create touchless technology
Audio chips made by Wolfson Microelectronics are to help users control their electrical devices without touching them. Elliptic Labs, a spin-out company from Oslo University in Norway, has already launched software that allows users to control Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system by making hand gestures to their laptop.