Business news in brief: TGI Friday | Republic | McKay Securities

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RESTAURANT chain TGI Friday’s is to create 600 jobs this year with the opening of six outlets across the country.

The American-owned company said restaurants will open in Leeds next month and Glasgow in August, with details of the other four to be announced later.

Jobs will include bar staff, chefs, managers and waitresses. TGI Friday’s, which has 55 restaurants in the UK, opened its first on this side of the Atlantic in 1986, in Birmingham.

TGI Friday’s spokesman David Carroll said: “2013 is on track to be one of our biggest years in the UK.”

KPMG restructures Republic’s stores

Fashion chain Republic has appointed accountancy firm KPMG to help restructure its operations and sell some stores.

Although the brand is still considered profitable, American private equity owner TPG is said to be concerned that some of its older outlets are under-performing.

The firm, which employs about 1,600 staff at 121 stores, is also said to be looking at paying its rents on a monthly basis.

News of KPMG’s role came amid reports that former Asda executive Andy Bond had stood down as Republic’s chairman. The firm declined to comment.

Low & Bonar books yarn impairment

Materials maker Low & Bonar hiked its dividend yesterday despite a sharp drop in full-year profits after being hit by a slowdown in demand for artificial grass.

The company, which began life 100 years ago as a Dundee jute weaver, said it had taken an £11.2 million impairment at its yarns business, which pushed pre-tax profits to £6.1m last year, down from £23.4m. Profits were up slightly on an underlying basis.

The board proposed a final dividend of 1.6p per share, to be paid in April, up from last year’s payout of 1.4p.

Glasgow office sold for £16.8m in cash

McKay Securities has sold its property at 100 Bothwell Street in Glasgow to Splendor for £16.8 million.

The building is leased to the Student Loans Company, with a new ten-year deal already negotiated to start in December.

McKay said the new contract added to the property’s price, which is payable in cash and was 8 per cent over the book value of the asset.

The money will be used to reduce debt and buy commercial property in central London and south-east England in accordance with the firm’s business objectives.