Monday business round-up: Five key stories of the day

Wood Group has acquired US construction firm Kelchner
Wood Group has acquired US construction firm Kelchner
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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

Aberdeen-based energy services giant Wood Group made its second swoop for a US company within a month, buying Ohio construction firm Kelchner. The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, will boost Wood’s presence in the state’s major shale gas regions and comes after it struck a $150 million (£100m) deal to buy industrial construction and maintenance contractor Infinity Group.

Drilling contractor KCA Deutag sold its Ben Loyal jack-up rig to Egyptian group ADES. The rig, which was built in 1981 and bought by Aberdeen-based KCA Deutag in 2005, is capable of drilling in water depths of 300 feet and until October had been continuously under contract in the Gulf of Mexico.

Confidence in the construction sector fell again during the final three months of the year, according to research from the Scottish Building Federation. Industry confidence in the fourth quarter of 2015 was down 13 points on the previous three months, taking it back to where it was at the end of 2013.

Glasgow-based broadcaster STV, which saw its earnings dip at the half-year stage, told investors that its annual profits would be “in line with the board’s expectations”. Analysts at Liberum have pencilled in a pre-tax profit of £19.4m for 2015, up from £17.3m last year. STV’s annual results will be announced in February.

One of the top figures in the Scottish digital technologies industry was appointed chair of the country’s first digital skills academy. Polly Purvis, chief executive of trade body ScotlandIS, brings more than 15 years’ of industry experience to the board of CodeClan.