Scottish Business Briefing – Wednesday 12 June, 2013

Scotlabnd's high street revival is lagging behind the the rest of the UK. Picture: Jane Barlow
Scotlabnd's high street revival is lagging behind the the rest of the UK. Picture: Jane Barlow
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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.

RETAIL

Scottish retail figures lagging behind UK

SCOTLAND’S high street revival is lagging behind the the rest of the UK, new figures released yesterday show. Shops north of the Border had “slow but steady” sales in May, with an increase of 0.8 per cent compared with the same period last year. However, across the UK, retail sales were up by 3.4 per cent. Stores now face a “fierce battle” over the summer months to persuade consumers to part with their cash, it warned (Scotsman).

Schuh delivers record profts of £25.6m

SCOTTISH footwear retailer Schuh returned record profits for its American owner last year as it expanded its store base and rolled out a tablet-optimised website for customers on the move. The Livingston-based company, which was bought out by Nashville shoe giant Genesco two years ago for £100 million, yesterday reported a pre-tax profit of £25.6m for the year to January 2013 (Scotsman).

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

ENERGY & UTILITIES

Wood Group to run Moray oilfield for its lifespan

ENERGY services heavyweight Wood Group has secured its second major contract extension in the north sea in as many months with a £140 million deal to run an oil platform for the rest of its useful life. the new agreement, with fellow Aberdeen company Ithaca, means Wood Group has now renewed both its UK “duty holder” contracts (Scotsman).

Energy Assets to remain upon acquisition trail

ENERGY Assets said it could make further acquisitions after the £13.5 million takeover of Gazprom’s UK metering business helped the company grow profits 34% in the latest year. The Livingston-based firm, which specialises in managing sophisticated meters used by industrial and commercial firms, achieved £3.9m profit, before tax and exceptionals, in the year to March compared with £2.9m in the preceding year (Herald).

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

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Fresh doubts over Barr-Britvic deal

ANALYSTS have raised fresh doubts over the planned £1.4 billion tie-up between Irn-Bru maker AG Barr and rival Britvic, despite the competition watchdog giving its blessing to the deal. In its provisional report into the all-share merger, the Competition Commission said the two companies’ brands were not close competitors and the merger would not prevent smaller rivals from getting their products onto retailers’ shelves (Scotsman.

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

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

Defence Policy: Protecting Scotland & Preserving Jobs – 14 June, Edinburgh

Join delegates from the defence industry, legal, PR, academia and more at this hugely important conference. Top speakers will tackle the burning issues facing the defence industry, one of Scotland’s most economically significant sectors. Book your place today.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

TECHNOLOGY

University tie-ups could net companies £80m

PARTNERSHIPS between businesses and universities will generate £80 million a year for Scotland’s economy by 2018, more than four times their current level, according to a report published yesterday. Research by analysts at Biggar Economics found companies that work with academics have already boosted their turnover by £17.1m a year (Scotsman).

Read all today’s technology news from scotsman.com