Scottish business wire: McGill's | London & Scottish | Laird

The main breaking business stories of the day plus recent investments and grants achieved by Scottish firms.

Mining giant BHP Billiton has set itself a target for women to account for half its workforce by 2025, up from the current level of 17%. Picture: STR/AFP/Getty Images

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Greenock-based McGill’s Buses has accelerated profit and turnover in its latest annual results, saying this came despite challenges including bad weather denting passenger numbers. Pre-tax profit grew 12.5 per cent to £3.6 million for the year ending 27 December, 2015 while sales jumped £3m to £38.3m. McGill’s directors said the results were achieved against a difficult backdrop, with congestion on the road network also among hurdles.

McGill's saw its profits accelerate by 12.5% last year. Picture: Contributed

Property firm London & Scottish Developments is on course to deliver 2,000 jobs across Scotland through the revamp of 14 former Tesco sites it bought last year. Bryan Wilson, development director, said the company is breathing new life into ten dormant properties it bought from the retailer and letting them to new occupiers including Aldi, Lidl, Home Bargains and M&S.

Shares in Laird Group collapsed to nearly half their value yesterday after the maker of iPhone components warned of a sharp fall in annual profits amid “unprecedented” pricing pressures in the smartphone market. The business, which specialises in connectivity and electronic component protection, and is quoted in the FTSE 250 index, said an expected rebound in phone production failed to materialise in the third quarter.

McGill's saw its profits accelerate by 12.5% last year. Picture: Contributed

There was little in the latest data showing a rise in UK unemployment to suggest it was “any sort of post-Brexit portent of worse economic news in the pipeline” writes Martin Flanagan. “Just as one swallow doesn’t make a summer, what has become the rarity of rising unemployment doesn’t necessarily foreshadow tougher economic times.”

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RECENT INVESTMENTS

Company: Traveltek, East Kilbride

Industry: Travel software

Amount of investment: £5,300,000

Investors: YFM Equity Partners

Company: snap40, Edinburgh

Industry: Healthcare technology

Amount of investment: £2,000,000

Investors: Par Equity and private investors

Company: Swipii, Glasgow

Industry: Customer loyalty

Amount of investment: £2,000,000

Investors: Undisclosed

Company: Ateeda, Edinburgh

Industry: Microchip testing

Amount of investment: £630,000

Investors: Management, Archangels and Scottish Investment Bank

Company: Encompass, Glasgow

Industry: Software

Amount of investment: £3,600,000

Investors: Scottish Investment Bank and Adcock

Company: Pyreos, Edinburgh

Industry: Infrared sensors

Amount of investment: £1,800,000

Investors: Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Scottish Investment Bank, Seraphim Capital, Siemens Technology Accelerator and London Business Angels

RECENT GRANTS

Company: Collagen Solutions, Glasgow

Industry: Life sciences

Grant awarded: €500,000 (£450,000)

Type of grant: EU Horizon 2020

Company: Omega Diagnostics, Alva

Industry: Life sciences

Grant awarded: £1,800,000

Type of grant: Scottish Enterprise R&D

Company: Stream Technologies, Glasgow

Industry: Internet of things

Grant awarded: £200,000

Type of grant: Scottish Enterprise RSA