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Scottish Business Briefing – November 23rd 2012

John Lewis' latest festive advert. Picture: John Lewis

John Lewis' latest festive advert. Picture: John Lewis

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.

ECONOMICS

Cable vows to fight ‘quick-buck’ City and put focus on takeovers

BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable pledged yesterday that the government would take a “greater interest” in take-overs of UK companies and also fight the City’s “quick buck mentality”. Endorsing Professor John Kay’s independent review of UK equity markets, Cable said the coalition was also working to scrap companies’ quarterly reporting that he said encouraged greater focus on short-term returns than long-term value.

Gloomy outlook for manufacturing a threat to economy

Fears mounted over the outlook for UK manufacturers and the wider economy yesterday as the industry’s expectations for output hit the lowest level for more than a year. The dreary outlook, revealed in the latest industrial trends survey from the CBI, stoked concerns that the economy could shrink in the closing months of 2012.

Read all today’s economics news from scotsman.comtsman.com</a>

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Bad weather makes 2012 ‘desperately difficult’ for farmers

Bad weather made 2012 “desperately difficult” for farmers, according to the the National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS). A survey of members suggested one in 10 arable farmers had 50% or more of their cereal or maize crops still to harvest. Those managing livestock have told of having to move stock into cattle courts earlier than usual, and having to pay more for feed and straw for bedding.

Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com

INDUSTRY

Superglass plans a further saving drive

INSULATION maker Superglass has unveiled further cost savings as it battles to implement a turnaround plan amid tough trading conditions. The Stirling company reported flat revenue of £32.4 million in the 12 months to August 31 this year but narrowed operating losses from £4.3m to £2.5m.

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

RETAIL

John Lewis sales growth slows

Department store group John Lewis today said its weekly sales growth had slowed, with two of its three Scottish branches suffering a drop in business. The employee-owned retailer said year-on-year sales were up 7.6 per cent in the week to 17 November, but that was down from the 11.4 per cent surge reported for the previous week.

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT

Lanarkshire rail firm QTS on track to expand overseas

Railway contracting firm QTS Rail has said it is seeking new business in the Far East and Australia, after announcing record annual results. The company, which is based in Drumclog in Lanarkshire, said turnover soared 75% to £24.1m for the year to 31 March.

Read all today’s transport news from scotsman.com

 

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