Business briefs: Ecus | Future | John Lewis | Weir

Environmental consultancy Ecus is to create 12 jobs over three years after opening an office at Scion House, part of Stirling University Innovation Park.

Ecus, a spin-out from Sheffield University, opened an office in Cheltenham in May and the Scottish team will be led by principal hydroecologist Ian Griffin.

He said: “Stirling is the ideal spot for us, allowing us to rapidly access clients in northern Scotland and the Western Isles, the Borders and northern England. The Innovation Park is very much a ‘connected’ business location.”

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• The UK-based publisher behind magazines including T3 and Total Film has bought two Australian technology brands to boost its online presence.

Future revealed yesterday that it had bought APC and TechLife – including the brands’ magazines, digital editions and subscriptions – from Bauer Media for an undisclosed sum.

Mark Wood, Future’s chief executive, said: “The acquisition of APC and TechLife is the next stage in Future’s strategy of building a global technology content business around TechRadar, our top digital brand, and”

• John Lewis’ three Scottish department stores were among the chain’s best-perfomers last week as the “more typical summer weather” lifted custom.

In its latest sales bulletin, the employee-owned retailer said overall sales rose 7.1 per cent to £65.1 million in the seven days to 10 August.

There were increases of 14.8 per cent, 9.9 per cent and 9.6 per cent for Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, respectively.

It said: “The flow of new season stock continues in and with the cooler weather, customers will be keen to shop newness.”

• STEPHEN Noon, divisional managing director of Weir Group’s oil and gas business, has sold more than £1.65 million worth of shares.

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Noon, based in Fort Worth, Texas, sold 75,000 shares at 2,200.7p to leave him with 22,578 shares in the Glasgow-based group. Shares in the company have risen by almost a third in the past year and closed up 17p at 2,234p yesterday.

Last month Weir said its income and profits slumped in the first half of the year as declining commodity prices hit the development of mining and gas operations.