Scottish Business Briefing – Wednesday 3 July, 2013

Scotland's ski resorts enjoyed a great winter. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Scotland's ski resorts enjoyed a great winter. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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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.

BANKING

RBS’ small business support to be reviewed

A SEARCHING probe of Royal Bank of Scotland’s lending to small and medium sized businesses will be kick-started today in an apparent attempt to defuse political controversy over the issue. The aim of the independent review, to be conducted by City grandee Sir Andrew Large and management consultancy Oliver Wyman, will be to have a “thorough and independent” look at the bank’s lending standards and practices towards SMEs (Scotsman).

Read all today’s banking news from scotsman.com

ENERGY & UTILITIES

Deal action for Plexus and Xodus

TWO Aberdeen-based oil and gas service firms notched up deals yesterday, with engineering outfit Plexus winning a contract to supply well-heads to Italian energy giant Eni, while consultancy group Xodus took over Dubai-based Prime Energy (Scotsman).

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

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Shetland Catch achieves £7.5m turnaround

Shetland Catch achieved a £7.5 million turnaround last year as it moved on from a trouble-hit 2011 and returned to profit. Accounts just lodged at Companies House show pre-tax profits of £1.4m in the year to 31 March 2013 ,following a £6m loss the previous year, when Shetland Catch’s markets were flooded with cheap Faroese mackerel and it took a £1.65m exceptional hit following the “black fish” saga (Herald).

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

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

The Future of the UK Aerospace Industry – 5 September 2013, Prestwick

20% Early bird discount until 12 July

The UK Government signed up to a £2 billion partnership to keep the UK aerospace industry at the forefront of world aerospace manufacturing. Join us and hear the government explain its strategy to secure large numbers of high value jobs. Book your place today.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

MANAGEMENT

Entrepreneurs signing up more support for the E-spark ‘chiclets’

START-UP companies incubated by Sir Tom Hunter’s Entrepreneurial Spark programme are in line to receive further business support when they leave his “hatcheries”. E-spark has signed a deal with the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, under which the organisation will offer its services to the 300 firms that pass through the incubator scheme each year (Scotsman).

Read all today’s management news from scotsman.com

MEDIA & LEISURE

Scots ski resorts see near record-breaking season

SCOTLAND’S ski resort are celebrating a near record-breaking season with almost 300,000 ‘skier days’ on the slopes – boosting the economy by around £30million. Heather Negus, chair of Ski Scotland, which incorporates the country’s five centres, said: “We are absolutely delighted to know that, now the final figures have been calculated, we have beaten almost every season in the recent past (Scotsman).

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

RETAIL

Shop margins slashed as retailers chase sales

RETAILERS’ margins are poised to be squeezed even more tightly in the coming months after shop prices fell at their fastest rate since 2007. The drop in the cost of products accelerated last month, according to data released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Experts warned that retailers will have to focus on price cuts and multi-buy offers in order to attract customers (http://www.scotsman.com/business/management/shop-margins-slashed-as-retailers-chase-sales-1-2986249|Scotsman|Scotsman}).

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

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