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.
Leisure firms still shedding jobs despite sector recovery
Britain’s dominant services sector is growing at its fastest rate since the financial crisis, but consumer-facing firms are still struggling with profitability and shedding jobs. The CBI’s quarterly survey, published today, shows business services such as law and accountancy are performing particularly strongly and expect to grow even faster in the months ahead, as sentiment hits a 15-year high (Scotsman)
Bank of Scotland boss targets brand ‘magic’
THE managing director of the retail arm of Bank of Scotland has affirmed it is “absolutely” committed to its mobile banking operations for rural locations and keeping branches which are the last in a town open. Robin Bulloch says he wants to reclaim the “magic” the brand has had in the past and separate it from the HBOS legacy in the minds of the public (Herald).
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Scottish brewer toasts beer deal with Sainsbury’s
Williams Brothers, the Alloa-based brewery, is rolling out the barrel to celebrate landing a lucrative 11-product listing with Sainsbury’s. The UK’s third-largest supermarket chain already stocks five of the craft brewer’s beers but is now expanding its range by an additional six product lines – a move that Williams says is “unheard of in the industry” (Scotsman).
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TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
BPI eyes strong second half as profits rise 14%
Packaging specialist British Polythene Industries (BPI) today reported a 14 per cent rise in half-year profits and said it would be “disappointed” if it did not enjoy a strong performance during the second half. The Greenock-based company posted a pre-tax profit of £14.1 million for the six months to the end of June, up from £12.1m a year earlier, on turnover 3 per cent higher at £282.2m (Scotsman).
Focus on price ‘is damaging building industry’
One of Scotland’s oldest and best-respected construction industry firms Charles Henshaw has said big institutions are commissioning sub-standard buildings with expensive and potentially dangerous defects. Tom Lamb, managing director since 1982 at Henshaw, Scotland’s leading creator of glazed structures for major buildings, has said a “culture change” is needed to stop “suicidal pricing” of contracts, and revealed that recent high-profile refurbishments in Scotland have already developed major defects (Herald).
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
Skyscanner to create 250 jobs
Travel search engine Skyscanner is seeking to double its workforce over the coming year as it ramps up its international growth plans. The Edinburgh-based company employs 250 staff and said more than 150 of the new roles will be in Scotland, with the rest spread across Beijing, Miami and Singapore (Scotsman).