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The new Governor of the Bank of England announced it will not increase interest rates until unemployment in the UK falls below 7 per cent, which could take up to three years. In his first major announcement in the post, Mark Carney said a economic recovery in the UK “is now under way”, but acknowledged it “remains weak by historic standards.”
Life and pensions group Standard Life has reported a lower-than-expected rise in profits for the first half, despite enjoying record new business sales. The Edinburgh-based firm posted an operating profit before tax of £304 million for the first six months of the year, up 6 per cent on the same period last year, but well below the 12 per cent increase analysts had expected.
FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE
ARRAN Brewery will today unveil more details of its crowd-funding plan, as it aims to emulate rival BrewDog by raising £4 million from fans of its beers. The brewery will offer shares to investors at the end of October, having first mooted the idea of crowd-funding back in November, with the first details being revealed today on how much it plans to raise.
MORRISON Bowmore Distillers achieved a further jump in profits last year as its single malts turned in strong performances amid the continuing buoyancy of the wider Scotch whisky industry, newly filed accounts reveal. The Glasgow-based company’s directors describe the financial performance as “excellent” in their report on the accounts, which have just become available from Companies House.
MEDIA, TECH & LEISURE
EDINBURGH and Glasgow will be covered by Vodafone’s fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network “by Christmas” after the telecoms giant unveiled its roll-out plans, including deals with Sky Sports and Spotify. Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone’s UK operations, said customers would be able to opt for a sports package or a music package, giving them access to 20 million online songs.
Bookmaker Ladbrokes has reported a sharp fall in profits, hit by a bigger-than-expected slowdown in gaming machine revenues. Pre-tax profits for the first six months of 2013 came in at £55.1m, down 49% from the same period last year. It also said returns from its gaming machines in July had been hit by the UK’s “prolonged period of hot weather”.
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