WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.
Scotland is enjoying sustained growth at last
Scotland is outstripping the wider UK and enjoying its most sustained period of economic growth in three years, according to a report published today. The latest forecasts from accountancy giant Ernst & Young’s Scottish Item Club put economic growth north of the Border at 1.9 per cent this year – well above the group’s forecast of 1.4 per cent for the UK as a whole. (Scotsman)
Scottish spending watchdog ‘must be independent’
A STANDALONE Scottish spending watchdog must not be tasked with “pleasing the government of the day”, a top Scottish economist has warned. Professor David Bell says a Scottish Independent Fiscal Body could fill a gap left by the London-based Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) which does not always produce “forecasts specifically for Scotland”.
Independence White Paper: A business plan for Scotland? - 3rd December - Edinburgh
Will the forthcoming SNP blueprint for independence help provide the answers for undecided Scots ahead of next year’s referendum?
Join us to hear keynote speakers including Chris van der Kuyl, from the world of politics and business to debate the merits of the independence white paper. Join the debate today and ask the questions that matter to you. Visit the Scotsman Conferences for more details.
Outlook good for North Sea M&A activity
Sales and mergers among companies trading North Sea assets are expected to remain frothy this year as dealmakers confirm lack of funding is no longer acting as a “significant” barrier, a survey has found. Dealmakers expect transactions, such as the acquisition of BP assets by Abu Dhabi-based Taqa, to be healthy in the next 12 months, according to a report by KPMG.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
Overseas sales help Tunnocks fluff up pre-tax profits to £6.1m
A growing appetite for teacakes and caramel wafers on foreign shores helped iconic Scottish confectioner Thomas Tunnock post record profits last year. The Uddingston-based firm – which started life in a baker’s shop in 1890 – saw pre-tax profits soar to £6.1 million in the 12 months to the end of February, up from its previous high of £3.8m a year before.
Greenock company spices up haggis for new year
A MEAT processing business is hoping its new haggis pakora will land on the shelves of supermarkets across the country next year and is also eyeing a move into the ready meals sector. McKechnie Jess, established more than a century ago, is in negotiations with a number of multiple retailers about stocking the pakora with positive feedback having been received from buying teams.
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MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
Earnings narrow for holiday company
MF Wells (Hotels), the company which trades as Lochs & Glens Holidays, has seen earnings narrow after sustaining costs linked to its investment in a new hotel and the start of a refurbishment programme in its older properties. The Dunbartonshire-based firm, which operates coach tours from its portfolio of seven hotels, has booked pre-tax profits of £1.92 million for the year ended March 31. This compares with pre-tax profits of £2.55m the previous year.