Scottish Business Briefing – Wednesday 22 May, 2013
ENERGY & UTILITIES
Marchant bows out of SSE with 5.6% rise in profits
Utility group SSE has delivered its last set of annual results under the watch of outgoing chief executive Ian Marchant, who leaves next month. The Perth-based firm, which was fined a record £10.5 million by industry regulator Ofgem last month for mis-selling energy contracts, posted an adjusted pre-tax profit of £1.4 billion for the year to 31 March, up 5.6 per cent on the previous year (Scotsman).
Sentinel hopes to add more than 200 crew
An Aberdeen energy service business said yesterday it wanted to recruit more than 200 people after buying £100million of new vessels. Sentinel Marine said it had ordered four emergency-response and rescue vessels for operations in the UK North Sea, with an option for a further four (P&J).
Royal Mail profits rise as privatisation beckons
THE proposed £3 billion sale of the world’s oldest postal service drew nearer today as operating profits at Royal Mail more than doubled last year. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed that it would reveal next week which banks will lead the lucrative privatisation process, with frontrunners to handle the initial public offering (IPO) thought to include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and UBS (Scotsman).
Scots specialist firm sets up first Brazil operations base
Dron and Dickson, a Scottish specialist in design, supply and maintenance of hazardous-area electrical equipment, has opened a base in Brazil. This follows the firm landing £10million of contracts in the region, and it is now eyeing the potential for winning more offshore oil and gas work (P&J).
Glasgow scientist wins award for disease detection
A University of Glasgow academic has won a £20,000 award for entrepreneurs for his work leading a team that has developed a way of using sound waves to help speed the detection of malaria and sexually transmitted infections. Dr Julien Reboud, from the university’s Division of Biomedical Engineering, was joint winner of this year’s Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award (Herald).
Vertu grabs £31m Land Rover franchise
Acquisitive car dealer Vertu Motors is seeking further deals after agreeing to buy the Co-operative Group’s Land Rover franchise for £31 million in cash. The Gateshead-based firm, which trades as Macklin Motors in Scotland, also unveiled a jump in full-year profits and said the strength of the new car market has helped push like-for-like sales up 15 per cent since the start of its new financial year (Scotsman).