Business news in brief 19/04/2012

A roundup of the latest business news

Speedy slowdown during Olympics

Analysts have warned that profits at equipment rental firm Speedy Hire could be hit next year because construction projects in London will be disrupted by the Olympics and the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speedy said yesterday that it has reduced its net debt to around £76.3 million, down 33 per cent from a year ago, and pre-tax profits for the year to March 2012 should be in line with the board’s expectations.

But broker Panmure Gordon cut its profits forecast for the year to next March from £19.8m to £16m and warned the Olympics disruption alone could result in a £1m hit.

Kelly to head social enterprise group

Social Enterprise Scotland has named Fraser Kelly as its new chief executive following an “independent recruitment process”.

The umbrella body said that Kelly, who had been interim chief executive, would start immediately, providing a “seamless transition”.

Laurie Russell, chair of Social Enterprise Scotland, added: “I am sure that we will continue our strong working relationships with key stakeholders and that Fraser’s appointment will have a positive impact on our continued role in developing social enterprise in Scotland.”

John Lewis boss Blamire in new role

THE head of John Lewis in Edinburgh has taken a new role within the retailer and will be replaced by the managing director of the firm’s Newcastle store.

Barry Blamire will replace Barry Matheson as managing director of John Lewis Edinburgh. Matheson has taken a post at the partnership’s head office as director, retail services. Blamire started his career with the John Lewis Partnership more than 16 years ago as a graduate trainee and takes up his new post tomorrow.

John Lewis employs 750 people in Edinburgh.

Braveheart to open Isle of Man office

BRAVEHEART, the Perth-based investment manager, yesterday revealed it is opening an office on the Isle of Man to target investors in the tax haven.

Oliver Woolley, founder and director of Envestors, Braveheart’s London-based subsidiary, said: “We already have a presence in the Channel Islands through our Jersey office, and look forward to bringing the benefits of our successful model to the Isle of Man. We believe this will appeal to both local companies seeking equity funding and investors.”

Aim-quoted Braveheart will launch the office on 9 May.