Business news in brief: Nucleus | National Express | Waterlogic | HP

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Nucleus, the adviser-owned and controlled wrap, has seen assets on the platform pass the £5 billion barrier, following a period of record inflows.

Founded in July 2006 by chief executive David Ferguson and a group of adviser firms, the Edinburgh-based firm has a community of 170 adviser firms employing more than 2,000 individuals.

Ferguson said: “As the environment evolves and legacy platforms battle to reinvent and re-establish themselves in a post-RDR [retail distribution review] world it’s great to move beyond this milestone while remaining competitive.”

National Express hit by concession loss

National Express has reported a fall in annual profits after one of the most difficult years in the 40-year history of its coach arm.

The largest operator of coach services in the UK was hit by the withdrawal of the government’s £16 million senior citizen concession scheme, which meant one million fewer subsidised journeys.

Despite growing its non-concession passenger volumes, the group admitted it had over-estimated its ability to mitigate the loss of the funding, leading to a £14.3m fall in the division’s operating profit to £20.6m.

Water cooler firm in Scottish takeover

Waterlogic, an Aim-quoted company which designs and distributes office water coolers, has stepped up its Scottish presence after swallowing Perth-based Aqua Cure Scotland.

The group described the deal – the value was not disclosed – as a “strategic purchase”. Aqua Cure Scotland generated revenues of about £360,000 for the year ended 30 June.

Peter Cohen, chief executive, Waterlogic Commercial, said: “The acquisition gives us direct access to the Scottish market and brings with it further reach within the UK market plus new products.”

HP creates 30 extra jobs at Erskine site

COMPUTING giant HP is creating a further 30 jobs for university graduates at its Erskine site on top of the 700 workers it is hiring following a Scottish Government grant.

Ministers agreed to give HP £7 million in 2010 to open an IT centre in Erskine, a year after 700 posts at the site were axed when it moved production of its PCs to the Czech Republic.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will join Nick Wilson, vice-president and managing director of HP UK and Ireland, in Erskine today to bury a time capsule marking the site’s 25th anniversary.