Scottish Business Briefing - Thursday 7 February, 2013

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


RBS Libor: Shamed bank to pay fine with bonuses

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ROYAL Bank of Scotland has confirmed it will claw back bonuses to pay a £391 million fine imposed for the part its traders played in the Libor rate-rigging scandal. The taxpayer-owned bank revealed yesterday it has agreed to pay the Financial Services Authority (FSA) £87.5m and the remainder to US authorities for staff manipulating the benchmark rate both before and after it was bailed out by the government in 2008 (Scotsman).


Scotland’s energy sector spreading north and west

The head of industry body Energy North said yesterday Scotland’s energy sector was increasingly spreading north and west from its Aberdeen heartland. Ian Couper, the trade association’s chief executive, said ports in the Highlands and Western Isles would increasingly benefit from both oil and gas and renewable-energy projects off Scotland’s shores (P&J)


Saltire Taverns falls into the red

PUB tycoon Billy Lowe predicts a strong rebound into profitability for Saltire Taverns following a year of disruption as he changed his group’s portfolio. Accounts filed at Companies House show a pre-tax loss of nearly £33,000 for the year to 31 January 2012, the period covering the sale of Saltire’s Frankenstein pubs to Glendola Leisure (Scotsman)


Rettie & Co hails recovery

Rettie & Co, the estate agent and property manager, has staged a strong recovery in profits and says its investment in new partnerships is paying off. After seeing pre-tax profits fall by more than one-quarter to £181,236 in 2011, the family-owned firm, headed by major shareholder Simon Rettie, has posted 2012 profits of £448,484, a rise of 147% (Herald).


Squeezed margins take shine off Wolfson’s Q4 sales spurt

WARNINGS of lower margins sounded a sour note amid bumper sales figures from audio chip-maker Wolfson Microelectronics today, driving shares lower despite its return to profit. Te booming popularity of smartphones and tablet computers helped the Edinburgh-based outfit grow revenues by 52 per cent in the final three months of 2012, with its audio chips used in many of the top-selling devices (Scotsman).


Scots car sales forecast to accelerate

Scotland’s car dealers have enjoyed a strong start to the year, with figures showing sales north of the Border outpaced the UK as a whole last month.The Scottish Motor TradeAssociation (SMTA) said a total of 11,630 new cars were registered during January, representing an increase of 12.4 per cent over the same month last year (Scotsman).