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.
Aegon blames regulation changes for sales slump
LIFE and pensions firm Aegon UK has blamed looming regulatory changes for a drop in third-quarter sales, but its profits more than doubled thanks to cost-cutting measures and better investment returns. The Edinburgh-based group said the retail distribution review (RDR), which will ban commission payments to financial advisers from next year, led to a £4 million hit to earnings at its pensions arm (Scotsman).
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Sir Ian Wood: we need investment prior to 2014 poll
SIR Ian Wood declined to say whether or not he was worried about Scotland becoming independent but indicated he thought uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum planned for 2014 could impact the North Sea (Herald).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Brewery targets Glasgow for first move into pubs
ARRAN Brewery yesterday unveiled plans to open its first pub, just a week after announcing a merger with the Isle of Skye Brewery. The enlarged company has chosen a former bank building in Glasgow city centre for its maiden foray into the on-trade, which is still subject to planning permission and licensing approval (Scotsman).
Balfour Beatty shares slump as it ponders ‘strategic pull-out’
INFRASTRUCTURE group Balfour Beatty sent a shockwave through the battered construction sector yesterday after it admitted it was considering pulling out of some of its operations following a profits warning. Shares in the company plunged by more than 18 per cent after it warned it would miss its profit guidance for 2012, blaming a dearth of major projects (Scotsman).
Boston in NHS security deal
A Scottish networking specialist expects to create 20 jobs after winning a multi-million-pound contract to supply a sophisticated monitoring and access control system for the new South Glasgow Hospital (Herald).
Tax hikes and consumer squeeze hit Flybe
REGIONAL airline Flybe flew back into the red this summer and warned of possible job losses amid “the most challenging conditions” it has ever faced. A combination of squeezed consumers and soaring taxes on flying pushed it to a £1.3 million pre-tax loss in the six months to 30 September, compared to a £14.3m profit a year before (Scotsman)