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Aberdeen agrees £550m deal to buy Swip from Lloyds
Aberdeen Asset Management today said it has agreed to buy its Edinburgh-based rival, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip), from Lloyds Banking Group for £550 million in shares. The deal will see taxpayer-backed Lloyds take a 9.9 per cent in Aberdeen, which said the “strategic relationship” between the two groups would help it expand its range of products. (Scotsman)
Scottish jobs market ‘back at pre-recession level’
Scotland’s jobs market has put on its best performance since before the recession, according to a survey of recruitment agencies. The Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs for October recorded another sharp rise in the number of people finding both permanent and temporary jobs. Recruiters largely linked the latest improvement to greater client demand. (BBC)
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Majestic Wine toasts rise in first-half profits
Wine warehouse operator Majestic Wine today said it was well placed for the key festive trading season as it reported higher sales and profits for the first half of the year. The firm, which has about 200 stores, posted a pre-tax profit of £9.5 million for the six months to 30 September, up 4.2 per cent from a year ago, on total sales 3.3 per cent higher at £130.2m. However, Majestic said like-for-like sales at its UK retail stores dipped 0.4 per cent because of the timing of Easter and last year’s jubilee celebrations. (Scotsman)
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Retailers face uncertain times as shoppers shun high streets
MIXED signals over the health of the retail sector have emerged after new figures showed the number of shoppers on Scotland’s high streets has continued to fall, but department store John Lewis enjoyed its best weekly performance of the year. The Scottish Retail Consortium also said today that the number of shops lying empty in the country’s town centres has reached its highest level in more than two years, giving “cause for concern” ahead of the key Christmas season. (Scotsman)
Realising the Potential of Life Sciences in Scotland – 25 Feb 2014 - Edinburgh
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TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY
Record results for Peoples’ 30th year
MOTOR dealer Peoples has marked its 30th anniversary by posting a record set of financial results. The Ford specialist, chaired by Brian Gilda, saw pre-tax profits in the 12 months to July 31 double to £4.05 million. That came on the back of a near 27% rise in turnover from £146.7m to £185.9m, according to its annual report, which is published today.
Overdraft facility for textile supplier
SOUVENIR and textile supplier Bulloch, Cowell & Co has secured a six-figure overdraft with Clydesdale Bank to help expand its product range and buy a new stock management system. The Glasgow company, which trades under the Glen Appin of Scotland brand, supplies Scottish themed goods into the tourism sector around the world.