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McEwan takes over at Royal Bank of Scotland
State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland will begin a new chapter today as New Zealander Ross McEwan takes over the helm. Mr McEwan, who was previously the bank’s retail boss, succeeds Stephen Hester who led the bank for five turbulent years following the departure of his disgraced predecessor Fred Goodwin. Mr McEwan will be paid £1 million a year plus £350,000 in lieu of a pension (Scotsman).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Grants toasts record sales
WHISKY distiller William Grant & Sons yesterday toasted record revenues despite the eurozone debt crisis making 2012 a “challenging year” for the family-owned company. The Dufftown-based firm, which makes Glenfiddich single malt and Grant’s blended Scotch, posted a 1.4 per cent rise in full-year revenues to £1.06 billion. Sales first broke through the £1bn barrier in 2011 (Scotsman).
Scotmid unveil plans to sell more Scottish brands
FOOD and drink suppliers received a boost yesterday after convenience store chain Scotmid unveiled plans to sell more Scottish brands in its shops. The Edinburgh-based group has signed a deal with wholesaler Fife Creamery to increase the number of products on its shelves from brands including Highland Fine Cheeses, Stoats porridge oats and Swords Soups (Scotsman).
John Watson & Co bought by US giant
JOHN Watson and Company, the Glasgow-based printing business that designs and supplies labels and packaging to the Scotch whisky industry, has been sold to US giant Multi-Color Corporation (MCC). The acquisition, described by chairman John Watson as a serious multi-million pound deal, comes less than six months after it walked away from its proposed sale to Canadian company CCL (Herald).
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Optical Express founder in new restructuring move
OPTICAL Express Group has reported a £15.1 million pre-tax loss for its most recent financial year and says a plan to put a subsidiary into administration is the final piece in its restructuring jigsaw. Founder David Moulsdale unveiled the intention to appoint an administrator for DCM Optical Clinic and then buy back 16 of the 19 stores in a move which is not expected to lead to any job losses.
TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
£300m survival plan for Grangemouth
The owner of one of Scotland’s largest industrial plants has demanded that unions agree to job cuts and a new pensions package in exchange for a £300 million investment package that is essential to keep the site open. Grangemouth Petrochemicals owner Ineos has warned that the plant, which employs more than 1,000 people, will run out of raw materials and close by 2017 at the latest if the “survival plan” is not agreed (http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/300m-survival-plan-for-grangemouth-1-3118462|Scotsman|Scotsman})