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.
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Trap Oil plucks Orchid discovery as drilling trio unveil overseas plans
DRILLING firm Trap Oil is buying a majority stake in the Orchid oil discovery in the North Sea, while a trio of Scottish explorers unveiled plans to drill for oil across Africa, Europe and the Middle East this year. Trap, which took over Aberdeenshire-based Reach Oil & Gas in 2011, will pay Summit Petroleum £1.5 million in cash for its 45 per cent stake in Orchid, to the east of Peterhead (Scotsman).
MEDIA & LEISURE
Hotel company makes move into central Scotland
AN ambitious hotel company is starting 2013 by expanding its reach into the central belt of Scotland. SGE Hotels has acquired the three-star Leapark Hotel in Grangemouth for an undisclosed sum. The venue has been on the market since April last year after the owners decided they wanted to retire (Herald).
High street suffers flat festive sales
Shoppers failed to give the high street a much-needed Christmas lift according to new figures showing sales barely grew in December and raising concerns that more retailers will go bust as the tough trading conditions continue (Scotsman).
House of Fraser hails ‘best ever’ Christmas trading
The owner of Scottish flagship store Jenners hailed its “best ever” Christmas sales period despite a “challenging year in retail”. In a statement to its bondholders, House of Fraser said fashion and beauty goods flew off the shelves in the six weeks to the 5 January when like-for-like sales were up 6.3 per cent (Scotsman).
Airport rebranded ‘Aberdeen International’
Aberdeen Airport is rebranding itself as Aberdeen International. The change comes after the terminal’s parent company dropped the name BAA and allowed its individual airports to operate more independently. It is hoped the new title will help the airport’s drive to expand its roster of destinations - particularly for holidaymakers (BBC).
New car sales are revving up in Scotland
Scottish car dealers have enjoyed their strongest sales in five years despite an end-of-year blip. Industry leaders yesterday forecast a “settled” market in 2013 after figures revealed that just under 182,000 new cars were registered last year, a rise of 9 per cent on 2011 (Scotsman).