Business Briefs - May 19


Members of the public are being invited to view the latest stage of development plans for the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour as fresh images of the expansion are revealed.

Aberdeen Harbour BoardScottish Enterprise and Aberdeen City Council are preparing a development framework for Nigg Bay, Altens and East Tullos.

The framework will examine the long-term development and regeneration opportunities arising as a result of the proposed new harbour at Nigg Bay.

The £320 million project was first unveiled in 2012, and has since been described by Scottish Enterprise as having a “critical role” to play in the future of Scotland.

The latest images show how a liner could be accommodated in the harbour, opening up the potential to bring more visitors to the north-east.


Andrew Kerr has been announced as the preferred candidate for the post of chief executive for the City of Edinburgh Council.

Currently chief executive of Cornwall Council, Mr Kerr was chosen after a rigorous two day selection process. The recommendation will now go to the council meeting on 28 May for ratification.

Andrew began his career with the district council in Falkirk, the town of his birth. His 32-year public sector career has since included over three years at Birmingham City Council, where he led the national award-winning Birmingham BEST organisational development programme. From 2005 he led the turnaround of North Tyneside Council as its new CEO.

He was appointed chief operating officer of Cardiff Council in March 2012 where he delivered a £900 million joint venture in waste management.  He has led transformation programmes in his last three authorities delivering more than £100m worth of savings.  In his current post with Cornwall Council he is leading a programme planned to deliver £196m savings in the next four years.

Andrew has also represented Great Britain in international athletics (400m).  He is married with three children.

Mr Kerr is expected to take up the post later in 2015 with the date to be confirmed in due course.

Scottish insulation provider Superglass Holdings has revealed that chairman John Colley is to step down from his role next month.

The firm, which employs around 160 people in Stirling, said Mr Colley had given notice of his intention to resign from the board with effect from June 19 after more than three years involvement with the company.

During his time as chairman, Superglass has raised around £19 million from investors and completed a significant restructuring.

Superglass said the process of recruiting a new chairman will be conducted in consultation with major shareholders.

Mark Cubitt, formerly chief financial officer of Wolfson Microelectronics, has been appointed senior independent non-executive director.

Britain’s construction sector bounced back in March, suggesting that the sector is reviving after a slow start to 2015.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), construction output rose 1.6 per cent compared with the same month last year, and by 3.9 per cent compared to February 2015.

Private sector house building grew 2.3 per cent in March, after five successive months of contraction.

UK construction growth slowed at the end of 2014 and remained sluggish through the start of this year.

Overall, output in the first quarter of 2015 was down 1.1 per cent compared to the last quarter of 2014, a figure which the Construction Products Association (CPA) argued is not reflected in industry surveys.

Edinburgh-based online travel firm Skyscanner has reported a fall in pre-tax profit for last year of 39 per cent.

However, the firm said the result came during a year of investment that saw the addition of more than 200 staff and acquisitions that included the Budapest mobile developer Distinction and Chinese search business Youbibi.

The group’s net earnings fell by 21 per cent, and it had £7.5million of debt at its year end compared with £4.8m of cash 12 months earlier, according to accounts just lodged at Companies House.

Last year the company also launched hotel and car hire apps in more than 30 languages, and opened a business service which includes data analytics.