Business round-up: Five key stories of the day

Robin Watson takes over as Wood Group chief executive in January
Robin Watson takes over as Wood Group chief executive in January
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Here are five of today’s key Scottish business stories in one handy package.

Energy services giant Wood Group promoted Robin Watson to the role of chief executive following Bob Keiller’s decision to retire at the end of the year. Watson, who has served on the Aberdeen-based group’s board since 2013, is currently chief operating officer and Wood Group said his appointment “represents a natural evolution in the group’s leadership”.

Car dealership giant Arnold Clark marked its 60th anniversary with record sales but warned of a “more challenging” 2015 as the market for new vehicles cools. Newly filed accounts for the Glasgow-based firm show that turnover rose by 11.9 per cent last year to a bumper £3.3 billion, sealing its status as Scotland’s biggest privately owned company.

Morrison Construction was named preferred contractor for the £72 million East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington. The Edinburgh-based builder, part of FTSE 250 construction group Galliford Try, has been tasked with delivering a new community hospital, spanning about 23,000 square metres, on the existing Roodlands Campus.

Commercial construction activity in Scotland { |continued to rise during the second quarter of 2015|Resurgence in Scottish construction activity – The Scotsman}, according to the latest JLL and Glenigan UK Commercial Construction Activity Index. It showed that total starts during the 12 months to end of June totalled £2.5 billion – an increase of 17.6 per cent – making Scotland the second best performing region in the UK after the east of England.

Treasury sources revealed that more people expressed an interest in buying Lloyds Banking Group shares in one day than in the entire two-week registration for Royal Mail shares. In the spring, the UK government will offer the public at least £2bn worth of discounted shares in the taxpayer-backed group, which owns Bank of Scotland and Halifax.