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.
Economic recovery finally under way say firms
THE worst of the economic crisis is over and a long and fragile recovery has finally begun in Scotland, a major survey of Scottish businesses claims today. The report from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) reveals a marked improvement in business confidence compared with this time last year. The analysis comes as influential ratings agency Moody’s raised the outlook for Britain’s banks to “stable” for the first time since the credit crunch (Scotsman)
Corporate tourism brings £1.9bn to Scots economy
BUSINESS conferences and corporate jollies contribute some £1.9 billion to the Scottish economy, new reserch suggests. The UK Economic Impact Study (UKEIS), unveiled yesterday at a conference in London, showed that conferences, exhibitions, trade shows and “incentive travel” added £58.4bn to the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 (Scotsman).
ENERGY & UTILITIES
ScottishPower to pay £890m dividend to parent
UTILITY giant ScottishPower is paying an £890 million dividend to Spanish parent company Iberdrola after the Glasgow-based firm benefited from the cold weather, price hikes and rising customer numbers. The company’s gas and electricity supply division, which has more than five million customers and has gained several hundred thousand in the past two years, soared back into the black last year with a £170m profit, having lost £22m in 2011 (Scotsman).
5,000 jobs hope from hub
Thousands of jobs could be created in the north under plans to make Inverness Scotland’s second oil and gas hub. Energy leaders will meet in the Highland capital for the first time today as part of a drive to create 5,000 jobs in the north (P&J).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Scottish Food & Drink: Keeping it in the family – 10 Sept, Edinburgh
20% Early bird discount until 19 July
Join us as we examine the success of Scottish family food and drink business. Hear experts share their strategies for growth and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. If you have an interest in the sector, whether as a producer, policy maker or someone setting up a new business, you can’t afford to miss this event. (The Scotsman Conferences)
Scottish fishermen targeted in £3.6m tax crackdown
Scottish fishermen evading tax have been warned they face heavy fines and potential prison sentences as part of a major crackdown. Tax officials moved after the Scottish fishing industry was deemed “high risk” and aim to recover about £3.6 million from one of Scotland’s biggest industries. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs inspectors want to root out those under-declaring catches, fixing their books or claiming benefits to which they are not entitled (Herald).
Edinburgh Airport calls for more Gatwick runways
SCOTLAND’S largest airport yesterday called for second runways to be built at both Gatwick and Stansted to protect Scotland-London flights because it said Heathrow would never get a third runway. The airport, which is Scotland’s busiest with 9.2 million passengers a year, claimed that expanding the other major London airports would be the fastest way to increase capacity because Heathrow is virtually full (Scotsman).