Scottish Business Briefing – Thursday 27 June, 2013

A Stagecoach bus. The company is pondering a move for the east coast rail franchise. Picture: PA
A Stagecoach bus. The company is pondering a move for the east coast rail franchise. Picture: PA
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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.

BANKING

RBS ‘needs to place low charges’ on £20bn loan pot

BUSINESS groups last night warned that Royal Bank of Scotland’s latest £20 billion lending scheme will only succeed if firms are not hit with prohibitive repayment charges. RBS is writing to 100,000 customers to encourage them to borrow, as it has a surplus in its UK corporate deposits that it wants to lend out (Scotsman).

Read all today’s insurance news from scotsman.com

INSURANCE

‘Savage’ Direct Line job cuts attacked by unions

UNION leaders have attacked plans by insurance giant Direct Line to axe about 2,000 jobs, describing the cuts as “savage”. The UK’s largest car insurer, which was spun off from taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland last year, said about 150 jobs were under threat in Glasgow as it looks to shave about £130 million off its cost base (Scotsman).

<a href=”http://www.scotsman.com/business/insurance”> Read all today’s banking news from scotsman.com</a>

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

R&W Scott owner toasts 24% jump in profits

The owner of R&W Scott has hailed a turnaround at the venerable Scottish jam maker as it reported a 24 per cent surge in annual profits. Aim-quoted Real Good Food (RGF) said Carluke-based R&W Scott delivered an operating profit of £166,000 for the year to the end of March, compared with a £1.4 million loss a year earlier, despite a dip in sales (Scotsman).

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

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

The Future of the UK Aerospace Industry – 5 September 2013, Prestwick

20% Early bird discount until 12 July

The UK Government signed up to a £2 billion partnership to keep the UK aerospace industry at the forefront of world aerospace manufacturing. Join us and hear the government explain its strategy to secure large numbers of high value jobs. Book your place today.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

TECHNOLOGY

Craneware shares hit by profit warning

SHARES in software outfit Craneware dropped 12 per cent yesterday after the Edinburgh-based technology firm revealed that it won’t sign a large deal in its current financial year, triggering a profit warning. The rout slashed £12 million from the company’s market value, despite management reassuring investors that profits would still beat last year’s haul (Scotsman).

Read all today’s technology news from scotsman.com

TRANSPORT

Stagecoach mulls east coast rail move

STAGECOACH is poised to enter the race to run the east coast mainline train service when the UK government puts the route out to tender next year. Finance director Ross Paterson told The Scotsman the Perth-based transport group is mulling its options over the contract, which would begin in 2015 (Scotsman).

EasyJet pledges more Inverness to London flights

VITAL air links connecting the Highlands and London have been secured with a pledge by EasyJet to continue the service once Flybe pulls out next year. Business leaders and politicians in the Highlands have welcomed the five-year deal, agreed between the budget airline and Inverness airport. There had been fears for the future of the connection after Flybe sold its 25 landing and take-off slots at Gatwick to its rivals in a £20 million deal (http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/easyjet-pledges-more-inverness-to-london-flights-1-2975369|Scotsman|Scotsman}).

Read all today’s transport news from scotsman.com