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Scottish Business Briefing – September 26th 2013

Scotland's economy is gathering momentum, a key report shows. Picture: TSPL

Scotland's economy is gathering momentum, a key report shows. Picture: TSPL

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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.

ECONOMY

Scotland’s economy gathering momentum - report

SCOTLAND’S economy is continuing to gather momentum, with businesses reporting the strongest rise in turnover for the past six years, a key report today shows. The research also reveals that expectations are high for the coming six months, adding to recent evidence of increasing activity levels

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCES

The Fracking Question - 11th December – Edinburgh

Join us as we hear how fracking challenges the basic premise of the UK energy story – resources are declining and prices are rising. The conference will look at the current and potential impacts of fracking on a local and global scale.

Visit the Scotsman Conferences website for more details.

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Record profits for Lees Foods after de-listing from the AIM

LEES Foods, the Coatbridge-based confectionery and bakery business, has posted record turnover and operating profits in a year that saw it de-list from the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The company, whose management team led by Clive Miquel paid £5.6 million to buy out shareholders in June 2012, has seen operating profits rise by just under 27% to £1.27m for the year ended December 31, 2012.

RETAIL

Scotmid casts doubt on nascent economic recovery

SCOTMID has cast doubt on the nascent economic recovery in Scotland claiming signs of an uptick were “not evident” for retailers and consumers in its key trading areas, which also include Northern Ireland and the north of England. The venerable retail and funerals business said yesterday that it would continue to be cautious as “the erosion of real terms disposable income is the everyday reality for our customers”, despite reporting “stronger than anticipated” sales over the summer months.

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Capital’s Quartermile scheme sold in ‘multi-million’ deal

ONE of Scotland’s largest urban regeneration schemes has changed hands in a “multi-million pound” deal. The Quartermile development, on the site of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, has been sold by Lloyds Banking Group-backed developer Gladedale Capital to property investor Moorfield.

Toiletries group Sanmex upbeat despite profits dip

SCOTTISH detergent, toiletries and aerosol products manufacturer Sanmex International experienced a dip in profits in its last financial year, but owner Steven Groden highlighted his satisfaction with his company’s performance relative to that of its competitors. Accounts recorded a dip in pre-tax profits to £491,815 in the year to January 30, from £615,084 in the prior 12 months

MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE

IndigoVision raises dividend despite profit fall

CCTV systems maker IndigoVision has reported a 13 per cent fall in annual profits as a squeeze on margins offset higher sales, but shareholders will benefit from a hike in its dividend. The Edinburgh-based firm said revenues for the year to 31 July grew 6 per cent to £32 million, but gross margins fell to 56.7 per cent, from 59 per cent a year ago, because of a shift away from encoders towards lower-margin “intelligent cameras”.

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