Scottish Business Briefing - Friday March 8 2013

John Lewis.  Picture: Getty
John Lewis. Picture: Getty
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WELCOME to’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.


Standard Life to share out £302m windfall

STANDARD Life investors are to share a £302 million special dividend windfall in a move which has cast further shadows over the performance of its rival Aviva. While the Edinburgh-based group was unveiling the 12.8p a share payout on the back of bumper profits, Aviva shares were tumbling as new chief executive Mark Wilson announced its dividend was being slashed by more than a quarter to build up capital reserves for the turnaround of the business.

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Distiller toasts bank’s help as £450,000 invested in bond

One of Scotland’s smallest distilleries said yesterday it would invest nearly £500,000 in storage space for its single malt. Kilchoman Distillery, the youngest distillery on the whisky island of Islay, will store up to 9,000 casks in a bonded warehouse being built on land at Conisby, near Bruichladdich.

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(Press & Journal)

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John Lewis partners £211m bonus as online sales surge

HIGH street chain John Lewis has boosted its staff bonus following a surge in online sales that put the partnership back on the path of rising profitability last year. About 2,400 employees working for the group’s eponymous department stores and Waitrose supermarkets in Scotland will benefit from a bonus of 17 per cent of salary, which was driven by the company’s rapidly expanding online operation.

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The Future of the Media in Scotland

Join us on 9th of April at The Scottish National Galleries in Edinburgh as conference chair Juliet Dunlop leads a line up of formidable speakers as they tackle the big issues facing Scotland’s media. The full agenda can now be viewed online. Book your place today.

(The Scotsman Conferences)

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Coal mining industry on the edge as firm axes 60% of staff

COAL mining in Scotland is on the brink of oblivion after Britain’s second largest producer said more than half of its workers are to be axed as major financial problems threaten its future. The country’s oldest major industry, which at its peak in 1957 employed 87,000 men and after the Second World War had 187 collieries, will be reduced to just 308 workers after Scottish Coal’s parent company announced it is to axe 450 of its 758-strong workforce.

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Aggreko shares surge as firm expect growth

SHARES in temporary power provider Aggreko surged more than 10 per cent as the firm reassured investors that its should average double digit growth up to 2017 despite the hangover from a bumper year. The Glasgow-based company hiked its dividend in a show of confidence after a “flawlessly executed” Olympics contract helped pre-tax profits grow by 11 per cent to £367 million last year.

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IndigoVision eyes record sales but profits face cost squeeze

CCTV systems maker Indigo-Vision has predicted record full-year sales after enjoying a jump in first-half revenues. However, a drop in margins and higher product development costs saw pre-tax profits for the six months to 31 January fall 26.6 per cent to £952,000. Despite the fall in profits, shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 5.5p a share, up 10 per cent on last year.

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