WELCOME to scotsman.com’s Scottish Business Briefing. Every morning we bring you a comprehensive round-up of all news affecting business in Scotland today.
Small businesses slam banks as lending falls
Small businesses rounded on Scotland’s big banks yesterday as it was revealed that lending had nose-dived in the final three months of 2012. Bank of England (BoE) policymakers came under intense pressure to unleash further emergency measures after the central bank’s own figures showed that net lending in the quarter had fallen by £2.4 billion (Scotsman).
Scottish firms still optimistic despite fewer sales and slow growth
Confidence has risen among Scottish businesses, but it is still below that of their UK counterparts, according to a recent survey. The ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) found Scottish expectations remained comparatively strong (BBC).
Commercial property sales in £5bn slump
ANNUAL commercial property sales in Scotland have fallen by more that £5 billion since the height of the market in 2007, new analysis shows. The 80 per cent drop has compelled the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) to call on the Scottish Government to help spur economic growth in the sector ahead of a conference today in Edinburgh (Scotsman).
BPI upbeat after improved profits haul
Plastics manufacturer British Polythene Industries (BPI) said it has a clear path to growth in the years ahead as it surprised investors by reporting higher profits for last year. The Greenock-based firm hailed a “good performance achieved in a challenging economic environment” as it revealed that operating profit increased to £22.5 million in 2012, from £21.6m in 2011, despite adverse currency movements (Scotsman).
Barratt reveals plan for 2500 Scottish homes
HOUSEBUILDER Barratt has stepped up its operation in Scotland with plans to launch 17 sites over the coming year comprising 2480 homes, many of them within the commuter zone for booming oil capital Aberdeen. The move suggests rising confidence in the Scottish housing market, which has taken longer than much of England to recover from the downturn (Herald).
Menzies shrugs off tough conditions with rise in profits
Logistics group John Menzies today reported a 3.5 per cent rise in full-year profits in the face of tough market conditions. The Edinburgh-based baggage handler and newspaper distributor also proposed a 5 per cent increase in its final dividend to 17.85p per share, to be paid on 21 June (Scotsman).