Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.
Retail empire Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group outlined plans to open 100 extra stores over the next two years after delivering record profits. The Langholm-based firm, which in addition to its eponymous stores owns the Peacocks chain, fashion house Jane Norman, homewares retailer Ponden Mill and golfing brand Pro-Quip, said the expansion would lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs.
Lloyds Banking Group announced details of up to 1,000 job cuts as part of its drive to slash costs. The job losses are part of an overall target to slash its workforce by 9,000, announced last October when the group also said it would be shutting 200 branches, while opening 50 more. Unions said they were pressing for no compulsory redundancies and for staff to be redeployed.
The City watchdog fined Barclays £72 million for failing to minimise the risks of financial crime. The Financial Conduct Authority said the failings relate to a £1.88 billion transaction arranged for a number of “ultra-high-net-worth” clients who should have been subject to enhanced levels of due diligence and monitoring by the bank.
Fibre optic network specialist CityFibre unveiled plans to bring superfast broadband to Glasgow. The Aim-quoted firm signed a ten-year deal with Inverness communications business HighNet, which will migrate 100 of its existing customers to the new network. As many as 15,000 firms across Glasgow will stand to benefit once the full city-wide project is completed.
Renewable energy firm Greencoat UK Wind agreed to buy a wind farm in Caithness for £85m. The 29.9 megawatt Stroupster project was developed by Npower Renewables and built by German group BayWa RE. It will become the fourth wind farm that Greencoat has bought from BayWa, including the Kildrummy site in Aberdeenshire acquired last year.