Scottish Business Briefing – Wednesday 17 April, 2013

ScottishPower wants to create 2,500 jobs. Picture: Julie Bull
ScottishPower wants to create 2,500 jobs. Picture: Julie Bull
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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

Harkand makes waves with £19m mini-submarine deal

Harkand, a subsea services group backed by private equity firm Oaktree Capital and energy industry veteran Tom Ehret, is splashing out £19 million on mini-submarines as it dives into booming oil markets around the world. The Aberdeen-based group is buying a series of remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) and recruiting 30 staff as it positions itself to take advantage of projected growth in the inspection, repair and maintenance market ({|Scotsman|scotsman}).

Scottish Power plans to create 2,500 jobs

Scottish Power has set out plans to create 2,500 new jobs over the next decade. The firm, owned by Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, will take on hundreds more engineers to improve its grid network. This comes on top of 1,500 new jobs announced last year and is part of a £2.6bn investment. However, it said the move depends on energy regulator Ofgem putting in place the approval and funding regime for the extra spending (BBC).

Cairn aims to avoid shareholder revolt

CAIRN Energy highlighted its determination to keep stakeholders onside following last year’s revolt on boardroom pay issues as it revealed pay increases for its chairman and chief executive. Edinburgh-based Cairn suffered a humiliating 67% vote against its directors’ remuneration report at the general meeting last May, amid the so-called Shareholder Spring of unrest about levels of executive pay at big firms (Herald).

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

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Diageo signs up developer for Kilmarnock site

Drinks giant Diageo has signed up local firm Klin Group to redevelop the site of its former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock into an area dedicated to sports and enterprise. The two firms have signed an “exclusivity agreement” over the ownership and intended development of the 23-acre town centre site at Hill Street (Scotsman).

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

MEDIA & LEISURE

Male grooming triggers recruitment drive for salons

SCOTLAND’S health and beauty salons expect to create more than 1,300 jobs over the next year after an explosion in the popularity of “male grooming”, according to a new survey. More than half of salon managers feel more optimistic than they did a year ago, leading to a third of businesses planning to recruit more staff (Scotsman).

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

RETAIL

Scottish stores turn in ‘decent’ sales last month

Retail experts today hailed a modest rise in high street sales last month as a “decent showing” given the bad weather, though the gain was below the rate of inflation. Publishing its latest retail sales monitor, the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said like-for-like sales, which strip out store openings and expansions, edged up 0.9 per cent in March, compared with a year earlier. However, shop price inflation over the period was 1.4 per cent (Scotsman).

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com