Business Briefs - May 6

Chiene+TaitEdinburgh-based accountants Chiene + Tait have confirmed that their ‘Entrepreneurial Tax Team’ has been selected as finalists for the Scottish Accountancy Awards in the Tax Team of the Year category.

Neil Norman, Entrepreneurial Tax Partner at Chiene + Tait, said: “The nomination reflects the exceptional, hard work the team has put in when providing advice for our clients in the areas of EIS/SEIS advisory and compliance; share scheme advisory; share valuations; R&D claims; restructuring; refinancing; business plan/investment teaser drafting; and exit planning. Being nominated as a finalist is a wonderful recognition for the team and I’m proud of all the members who continue to provide a first class service to our clients.”

The awards will take place next month.

Family-owned Scottish department store Watt Brothers is planning for a major expansion drive which will create hundreds of jobs.

The independent retailer currently trades from eight locations and intends to open in Port Glasgow and Irvine while another four sites are under consideration.

The business also wants to increase the floorspace at its smaller stores in Clarkston, Ayr and Livingston.

It is hoped at least two new stores will be up and running before the end of this year.

Legal & General Investment Management has reported that total assets climbed 17 per cent from £630.9bn to £736.8bn in the first three months of 2015.

Total net inflows dropped sharply from £9bn to £2.6bn, while external AUM net flows were also heavily down, falling from £6.6bn to £4.3bn. Revenues for the group were up 13 per cent, from £151bn in the first three months of last year to £170bn today.

Workplace assets under administration climbed 43 per cent from £9.1bn to £13bn, reflecting successes with large schemes including John Lewis Partnership, as well as smaller schemes reaching staging dates, L&G said.

North-east food ingredient firm Macphie of Glenbervie has appointed Douglas Crawford as its new finance director.

Macphie is headquartered on the 2,000-acre Glenbervie Estate near Stonehaven and has a turnover of over £44 million and employs about 250 people.

Mr Crawford joins the family-owned firm after spending 25 years in the whisky industry at Glasgow-based Morrison Bowmore Distillers.

He takes over from Raymond Howitt who is stepping down.

Dingwall firm John MacLean and Sons Electrical, the wholesale electrical supplier, has been bought by US firm DistributionNOW -public company boasting “diverse supply chain assets and capability in 20 countries”.

MacLean’s acquisition from family ownership has not been announced by either company, but the change is mentioned briefly on its website.

The company trades under the name MacLean Electrical and accounts lodged at Companies House show pre-tax profits rocketed by more than 85 per cent to £9.39million during the year to March 31, 2014.

As well as headquarters in Dingwall, MacLean has offices in Wick, Aberdeen, Cumbernauld, Newcastle, Great Yarmouth and London.

UK construction companies indicated a sharp loss of growth momentum in April, with output and new order expanding at the slowest rates since June 2013, the latestMarkit/CIPS UK Construction PMI index has revealed.

A number of survey respondents suggested that uncertainty related to the forthcoming general election had contributed to delays in clients’ spending decisions.

However, construction sector job creation remained robust in April and there were widespread reports of worsening capacity pressures. This contributed to another drop in sub-contractor availability and a corresponding increase in sub-contractor pay rates, with the latest rise the fastest since the survey began in April 1997.

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