Business Briefs - April 28

The first three months of 2015 saw the rate of economic growth half to 0.3 per cent, according to latest official figures.

The result was the slowest quarterly growth for two years, Office for National Statistics said.

That disappointing growth compares with 0.6 per cent in the last three months of 2014 and 0.7 per cent three months earlier.

The ONS said the economy was 2.4 per cent larger than the same period a year earlier, meaning it remains the fastest growing economy in the G7.

Growth of 0.5 per cent in the services industry was offset by a 1.6 per cent fall in the pace of economic output in construction.

The UK services sector accounts for around three quarters of economic growth, with construction, manufacturing and production accounting for the remaining quarter.

Nearly 100 jobs could go at Aberdeen-based Energy service giant Wood Group.

Reports surfaced last night that a consultation with about 380 staff in its Wood Group PSN business has been launched.

80 are expected to lose their jobs, following a review aimed at cutting costs.

It is anticipated a further 12 roles will go in the company’s Wood Group Kenny subsidiary.

A spokeswoman for Wood Group said: “Wood Group is continuing to take a number of steps to help customers increase operating efficiency, safely improve performance from oil and gas assets and reduce their costs.


Ashley Highfield the chief executive of Johnston Press has received a pay package of £1.65 million.

The newspaper publisher, which owns titles including The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post reported the remuneration it in its annual report.

It showed his basic salary was £404,000, while he also received an annual bonus of £483,000 and long-term incentive rewards to the value of £645,000. These were supplemented by pension payments worth £106,000 and other benefits of £11,000.

Part of Mr Highfield’s annual bonus related to the renegotiation of the company’s debt facilities, the report noted.


The European Commission (EC) is to provide a €1.2m (£861,000) grant to Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

The EC has approved the two-year grant to support activities to promote Scotch Beef PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and Scotch Lamb PGI in Great Britain and five important European markets – Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden.

Craft beer maker and Scotland’s largest independent brewer Brewdog has taken a five year lease on an office in Glasgow city centre.

The Aberdeenshire-based company last week launched its latest crowdfunding drive to raise £25 million.

The lease agreent sees it become the 11th business to take space at Queen’s House on St Vincent Street in the last 12 months.

BrewDog has leased the space at the 32-suite building from landlord Picton.

Omega Diagnostics, which is Alva, Clackmannanshire, has hired Dundee-based Axis-Shield’s managing director Colin King to be its new chief operating officer.

Mr King has been with Axis-Shield since 1995, working in a number of areas including project management, operations, planning and supply chain.

The 46-year-old will start at AIM-listed Omega in early August.

Andrew Shepherd, Omega chief executive, said: “(Colin) brings a wealth of relevant industry experience and his depth of knowledge of the in-vitro diagnostics sector will further strengthen the Omega board.”

A man from Bo’ness, who has not yet been named, has won a total of £7,864,529 in Saturday’s Lotto draw.

The man is expected to be named at a media conference.

The winning numbers were 04, 11, 27, 28, 30 and 49 and the bonus ball was 47.

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