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.
Businesses upbeat for 2014 despite exports slide
Scotland’s economic recovery is set to continue in 2014, but concerns persist over the strength of the nation’s exports, according to a key survey published today. The latest Bank of Scotland business monitor – a poll of more than 400 businesses – confirmed that the recovery had continued into the autumn of 2013, with this “accompanied by high expectations for the next six months”
BP eyes major new Shetland investment
BP has held out the prospect it might sanction further massive investment off Shetland although other oil and gas giants are facing complications in the area. Dave Lynch, a key member of BP’s North Sea management team, has highlighted the possibility the oil and gas major may proceed with a third phase of the huge Clair field west of Shetland in a move that would involve hundreds of millions pounds spending.
High street fails to find Christmas cheer
Christmas failed to light up the high street, with figures today pointing to an “underwhelming” December for many retailers. Releasing its latest sales tracker, accountancy firm BDO said overall like-for-like sales among UK “mid-market” retailers were down 2.2 per cent year-on-year.Last minute present hunting saw non-fashion sales pick up in the final week of December, offsetting a weak start to the month, the report noted.
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Optimus grows big in Bangkok
The Bangkok office of engineering firm Optimus has won business worth more than £600,000 in the past year as it “gained traction” in Southeast Asia. The Aberdeen-headquartered firm now has its sights set on Japan and Indonesia just three years after establishing its business in Thailand.
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
Edinburgh’s E-Net Computers records £1m loss
E-Net Computers, the Edinburgh company owned by entrepreneur and online Dragons’ Den star Shaf Rasul, has racked up another £1 million loss as it undertakes a major restructuring that will see it cease to have any trading activities. Newly-filed accounts reveal that the firm made a loss before tax of just under £990,000 in the year to 31 March, compared with a deficit of £960,000 a year earlier.
Digital firms look to attract more talent to Scotland
SOME of Scotland’s fastest growing technology employers are seeking to band together to attract talented digital experts to move north of the Border. Senior figures at internet dating company Cupid, Tesco Bank and flight comparison website Skyscanner have held talks about how they can persuade the technology industry’s rising stars to come to Scotland.