Scottish Business Briefing - Thursday 14 November

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

Sainsburys sales rise has put them into second place in the UK supermarket table. Picture: PA


Fall in jobless sparks interest rates fears

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A RISE in interest rates by 2015 moved into view yesterday, as the Bank of England signalled the UK’s recovery had “finally taken hold” and unemployment fell to its lowest in three years. In one of the most upbeat assessments of the economy since the financial crash of 2008, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he now expected higher growth and continued falls in unemployment next year. (Scotsman)

Businesses urged to be bolder in pushing exports

BUSINESS and government must take bolder steps to boost international trade if there is to be an export-led economic recovery. And company owners should get closer to the education system to raise the status of careers in enterprise to school leavers and graduates. Nora Senior, chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC), made the calls in remarks issued ahead of her speech to the organisation’s annual dinner in Glasgow last night.


Suttie invests in Bowleven for African developments

One of Scotland’s richest men has bought a stake in Edinburgh-based oil driller Bowleven as part of a share placing that today raised £13.3 million. Ian Suttie, chairman of First Oil, the largest British privately-owned firm operating in the North Sea, will be able to appoint a director to Bowleven’s board after taking a 5 per cent stake.


Sainsbury’s closes in on Asda in supermarket war

SAINSBURY’S has enjoyed its 35th consecutive quarterly rise in sales, and is on the brink of overtaking Asda as Britain’s second-largest supermarket chain. As the group posted a 9 per cent rise in half-time pre-tax profits to £433 million, analysts said the performance showed that it was the best-placed of the big four grocers ahead of the Christmas selling season.

Glasgow Fort £9m extension paying off

The recently opened £9 million extension at Glasgow Fort is “trading well”, according to property operator British Land. A Vue cinema along with five restaurants - TGI, Chiquito, Prezzo, Pizza Express and Harvester - opened at the 45,000 square feet space in the late summer. Other tenants to move to Glasgow Fort in recent months include Schuh, Jack & Jones, Chisholm Hunter and Office.


Johnston Press says profits and margins improving

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press, owner of The Scotsman, today said its full-year operating profits should meet City expectations as it reported a surge in digital revenues. The group, which also publishes the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday, said operating profits for the 18 weeks to 2 November were 7.8 per cent higher than the same period last year, with the operating margin improving to 20 per cent.