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.
TSB stock market flotation ‘not set in stone’
MORE than 630 bank branches rebranded as TSB by Lloyds Banking Group yesterday could still be snapped up by a trade or financial buyer before a planned flotation next summer, the head of the business revealed yesterday. Lloyds was ordered to sell the branches by the European Commission in return for its £20 billion taxpayer bailout in the 2008 financial crash (Scotsman).
Scottish Enterprise cash delivers five-fold return
EVERY pound spent on ongoing support for businesses by Scottish Enterprise (SE) generates £5.30 for the Scottish economy, according to figures released yesterday. Its work with account managed companies, where intensive support is provided to overcome challenges and identify growth, has also delivered a total of £1.1 billion in benefits to the Scottish economy over the last four years according to SE’s evaluation report (Scotsman).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Barr switches target as Suntory snaps up Lucozade
THE City expects Irn-Bru maker AG Barr to pursue other acquisitions after Japanese drinks giant Suntory yesterday scooped up the Lucozade and Ribena brands for £1.35 billion. The Cumbernauld-based firm had not publicly stated that it was interested in buying the brands from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Britain’s biggest drugs maker, but The Scotsman has learned that it did speak to the group (Scotsman).
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High Street vacancies still stubbornly high, says report
High Street vacancies remain “stubbornly high”, according to a report from the Local Data Company. Its data for Britain showed that the average vacancy rate in the top 650 centres was 14.1%, down just slightly from the previous reading of 14.2% taken in February. Wales had the highest national vacancy rate, at an average of 17.5%, Scotland hit 14.9% and England 14.0% (BBC).
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
Craneware says sales ‘healthy’ after profits dip
Software company Craneware today reported a drop in annual profits after failing to secure a major sale, but said trading has been strengthening since the start of its new financial year. The Edinburgh-based firm, which warned in June about a lack of big deals, said pre-tax profits for the year to 30 June fell to $10.6 million (£6.8m), down from $11.2m a year earlier. Revenues edged up 1 per cent to $41.5m (Scotsman).
Kelburn plans caravan park and pavilion amid hospitality drive
KELBURN Castle and Country Centre in Ayrshire is pushing into the hospitality and camping markets as part of a £2.4 million investment which has been funded by the sale of land for housing. The estate, which is near Largs and is owned by The Earl of Glasgow, Patrick Boyle, has invested to add an indoor pavilion and caravan park (Herald).