Scottish Business Briefing – Wednesday 10 July, 2013

Britvic poured cold water on plans for a �1.4 billion merger with Scottish rival AG Barr. Picture: Robert Perry

Britvic poured cold water on plans for a �1.4 billion merger with Scottish rival AG Barr. Picture: Robert Perry

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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.

ENERGY & UTILITIES

Irish government gives Cairn Energy thumbs up

OIL explorer Cairn Energy yesterday got the green light for its Irish drilling programme, weeks after taking stakes in a number of licences. Dublin approved Cairn’s farm-in as operator with a 38 per cent working interest in two exploration licences and one licensing option in the Porcupine basin to the west of Ireland (http://www.scotsman.com/business/management/irish-government-gives-cairn-energy-thumbs-up-1-2994615|Scotsman|scotsman}).

Work starts on harbour plan

Aberdeen Harbour has started preparatory work for a proposed expansion into nearby Nigg Bay. Port bosses want to invest £300million in new facilities in the bay to meet future demand from the oil and gas industry and cruise ships, and has started surveying the bedrock (P&J).

Read all today’s energy and utilities news from scotsman.com

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Britvic puts Barr merger on ice

Britvic poured cold water on plans for a £1.4 billion merger with Scottish rival AG Barr as the soft drinks firms reacted to news that the Competition Commission had officially sanctioned their union. Irn-Bru maker Barr had been set to carry off an audacious reverse takeover of the larger firm until the watchdog intervened in February (Scotsman).

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

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

Scottish Food & Drink: Keeping it in the family – 10 Sept, Edinburgh

20% Early bird discount until 19 July

Join us as we examine the success of Scottish family food and drink business. Hear experts share their strategies for growth and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. If you have an interest in the sector, whether as a producer, policy maker or someone setting up a new business, you can’t afford to miss this event.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

INDUSTRY

Russian owner pumps millions into Barony

BARONY Universal, the Scottish aerosol maker, has suffered a big rise in losses amid tough times in key supermarket trade prompting its Russian owner to pump millions of pounds into the business to boost its balance sheet. However, the Scot who founded and runs the Ayrshire business said Barony is an integral part of the Russia-based Arnest Group’s expansion plans in Europe (Herald).

Read all today’s industry news from scotsman.com

MEDIA & LEISURE

Costley hotels group sees strong profit recovery after banking fire insurance

The Costley hotels group has staged a strong profit recovery after banking full insurance compensation for the fire that ravaged the historic Souter Johnnie’s venue last year. The year saw C & C, Ayrshire’s biggest private employer, lift pre-tax profits from £50,293 to £326,189, on turnover down by 2.5% at £8.9 million, implying a rise in turnover excluding the closed outlet (Scotsman).

Read all today’s media and leisure news from scotsman.com

RETAIL

AGM fashion show highlights new model for M&S

Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland highlighted his fashion-focused turnaround plan with a catwalk show at the firm’s annual meeting after reporting an eighth successive quarter of clothing sales decline. The chief executive hailed a leap in online sales and said his plan to transform the British chain into “an international, multi-channel retailer” was making good progress (Scotsman).

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

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