Scottish Business Briefing - Wednesday 31 July, 2013

Workers in the renewables sector have seen their wages rise faster. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Workers in the renewables sector have seen their wages rise faster. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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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

Cold snap boosts profits at Scottish Gas owner

Scottish Gas parent company Centrica has seen profits at its residential energy arm grow by 3.2 per cent to £356 million as customers turned up the heating during the cold snap in the first half of the year. The supplier said revenues at the division rose 14 per cent to £5.5 billion in the six months to 30 June as average residential gas consumption grew 13 per cent compared with the same period last year (Scotsman).

Peterson’s profits rocket to £2.6m

Aberdeen firm Peterson SBS has more than doubled annual profits to £2.6million. The energy-industry logistics specialist made pre-tax profits of £2.62million on turnover of £153.1million in 2012, according to its latest accounts. In 2011, Peterson made profits of £1.1million on turnover of £151.8million (P&J).

Renewables’ wages ‘growing faster than oil and gas pay’

Workers in the renewable energy industry are seeing their pay grow at a faster rate than their counterparts in oil and gas, a survey has suggested. The figures come from the latest quarterly report on wage growth, by recruiters oilandgaspeople.com. It found that pressure on jobs in the sector led to an increase in wages in some specialist posts of more than 30% (BBC).

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

RETAIL

Consumer spending lift as prices retreat

Consumers have seen their spending power increase further after the biggest fall in shop prices for six-and-a-half years. Figures published today show that the overall cost of goods on the high street fell for the third consecutive month in July, with retail leaders hailing the latest drop as “great news for hard-pressed families” (Scotsman).

Read all today’s retail news from scotsman.com

SCOTSMAN CONFERENCE

The Future of the UK Aerospace Industry, 5 Sept, Prestwick

Join expert speakers including: Michael Moore MP & Secretary of State for Scotland; Scott McLarty of Spirit AeroSystems; Gavin Campbell of Bombardier and Murdo Morrison of Flight International as they discuss the big issues facing the UK aerospace industry. For full details see The Scotsman Conferences website. (The Scotsman Conferences)

MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE

Conference fund brings £70m boost to Scotland

Scotland’s economy is in line for a £70 million boost thanks to a fund that has helped attract almost 30 conferences. The events, which span everything from life sciences and education to food and renewable energy, have all applied for financial support from the VisitScotland bid fund, which was set up last March (Scotsman).

Wolfson turns to China as Samsung dents growth

WOLFSON chief executive Mike Hickey hailed the chip maker’s expansion into China today as the Edinburgh-based firm fights back against a slowdown in growth at key client Samsung. Four Chinese companies signed deals with the audio chip specialist over the past six months, with Wolfson also chalking up agreements with Intel, Lenovo and Sharp (Scotsman).

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