Scottish Business Briefing - Friday 20 September, 2013

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Bosses at Ineos have confirmed their petrochemical site in Grangemouth will definitely close in 2017 if action isn't taken. Picture: Craig Stephen

TRANSPORT & INDUSTRY

Ineos Grangemouth plant 2017 closure threat

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Bosses at Ineos have confirmed their petrochemical site in Grangemouth will definitely close in 2017 unless significant action is taken now. Calum Maclean, Ineos chairman of Olefins and Polymers Europe, said the hard facts were the plant would shut down in the next three years if it continues losing over £100 million every year (Scotsman).

Bank deal lays foundations for Springfield growth

SPRINGFIELD Properties is gearing up for a major expansion that will see the number of homes sold annually double from last year’s 300. The Elgin-based builder is eyeing land acquisitions across the country after securing a £17.5 million financing package from Bank of Scotland (Scotsman).

A9 deemed safe by just one in 100 businesses

Business leaders have branded the notorious A9 substandard, with only 1 per cent claiming they are comfortable driving on the Inverness-Perth trunk road. A new study reveals that businesses believe the dualling of the A9 – and the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness route – would provide a vital economic boost to the region and transform the fortunes of the north (Scotsman).

FOOD, DRINK & AGRICULTURE

Bruichladdich staff share in £5.2m bonus

DIRECTORS and staff at the Bruichladdich Distillery Company appear to have shared more than £5.2 million of bonuses and share gains when it was sold to Remy Cointreau for £58m, according to accounts filed at Companies House. The financial statement, which covers a 15-month accounting period, shows in excess of £4.6m of share option gains were recorded with directors receiving £3.3m of that (Herald).

Golden Casket owner hungry for acquisitions

GOLDEN Casket’s owner has emphasised its appetite for acquisitions following strong growth in sales at the sweet maker in recent months. Douglas Rae said the Greenock-based firm is on the look out to buy other confectionery businesses after it enjoyed a strong first half helped by a clutch of big contract wins (Herald).

(http://www.scotsman.com/business/food-drink-agriculture|Read all today’s food, drink and agriculture news from scotsman.com|Click here}

RETAIL

High street ‘remains positive’ despite surprise fall in sales

Retail sales suffered an unexpected fall last month as shoppers tightened their belts after July’s spending spree. Economists cautioned against reading too much into one month’s data, though, and said underlying trends for the high street remained positive. According to the Office for National Statistics, retail sales volumes dropped by 0.9 per cent between July and August, confounding expectations of a 0.4 per cent increase, as the amount ringing through the tills fell by £1 billion to £26.9bn (Scotsman).