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MARCOS WHITE Bigger bite of business

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JILL HAGUE Bank on the Far East Column - Page 5

An EXAMINER publication

KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS The business NEWSpaper for Kirklees

Regulators to get tougher over fraud

CORPORATE fraud in Yorkshire has fallen – against the upwards national trend. Figures from business advice firm BDO showed that UK fraud soared to £1.06bn during the first six months of this year – eclipsing the previous half year figures and almost the same as for the whole of 2008. However, Yorkshire reported a near-95% decline to just under £15m against last year’s record figure of £280m. The region is fifth in the national league table of corporate fraud, behind London and the south-east, Wales, the north-west and the Midlands. Nationally, this is the first time fraud levels have soared above the billion pound barrier during the interim period in the seven years BDO has been conducting its survey. The average value of a single fraud has also increased to almost £6m from £5m last year – showing that fraud in the UK is still big business.

BDO’s latest half-yearly Fraudtrack analysis shows that nationally, fraud is “undoubtedly on the increase” with predictions that 2010 will be “another bumper year”. In particular, BDO expects more enforcement action by regulators in the financial services sector – with enforcement action for insider dealing also becoming more prevalent. Simon Bevan, head of the fraud services unit at BDO, said: “In the past, we have seen a focus on procurement type frauds – UK public and private sector organisations paying too much for goods and services. “However, as the recession continues we are starting to see the other side of the fraud equation, namely revenue dilution fraud. “We are seeing companies where management commit fraud by either setting up ‘companies within companies’ or diverting lucrative contracts away from the company to third party accomplices.” Said Mr Bevan: “Linked to this

unethical activity is an increase in insider dealing where management don’t directly defraud their own employer but their actions leave them open to stringent, and often public, enforcement action by financial regulators. “The Financial Services Authority has been cracking down on insider dealing this year with a number of individuals receiving criminal convictions and/or confiscation orders.” Mr Bevan said competition between regulators to “act tough” would lead to regulators following an American model of intrusive regulation. “We have a combination of political pressure and the understandable desire – in a downturn – for the public sector and corporates to be seen to have a zero tolerance policy,” he said. “Increasingly law firms are now starting to recruit experts in market abuse. This is especially telling when in nearly all other areas major law firms are curtailing recruitment.”

presented to Paxman Coolers after the company achieved a 66% rise in export sales over the past year. The firm increased export sales to new markets by a similar percentage and now has 800 scalp cooling systems in use across the world. Paxman is active in markets including Europe, South America and Asia. More than 200 delegates attended a

ceremony at the Royal Armouries in Leeds when awards were presented to six category winners. Kevin Kiely, managing director of Medilink Yorkshire and Humber, said the event highlighted the buoyancy of the health technologies sector – and specifically the continued success and innovative capacity of Yorkshire firms in the sector. He said: “In the present economic

Northern exposure A LEADING environmental consultancy with offices in Denby Dale has teamed up with a company in Alaska. SLR Consulting has acquired environmental firm Hoefler Consulting Group in a move to further strengthen SLR’s position as a leading consultant to the oil and gas industry.

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■ TOUGH TIMES: Regulators are set to take an even firmer line in their efforts to tackle corporate fraud, says BDO’s Simon Bevan

Firm keeps its cool to win export accolade A COMPANY making scalp cooling equipment to benefit cancer patients is among the winners of a regional healthcare sector awards. Paxman Coolers, based at Fenay Bridge, won an award for exporting in the 2010 Medilink Yorkshire and Humber Healthcare Business Awards. The UK Trade & Investment Export Achievement Award was

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climate, it is reassuring to see the achievements of companies on show – many of which have confirmed the importance of bringing businessmen, academics and clinicians together to develop the technologies and industries of tomorrow.” Other categories covered start-ups, innovation, online healthcare training as well as awards for the outstanding company and individual.

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The best of British A FINANCIAL adviser support group in Huddersfield is to represent the UK in a European-wide awards. SimplyBiz will compete against businesses from across the continent in the European Business Awards.

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

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Insurance hold-up blocks Eurotunnel EUROTUNNEL warned it will remain in the red this year if insurance payments linked to a major fire in 2008 continue to be blocked. The company, which operates the Channel Tunnel and runs vehicle shuttle services, posted a net loss of £38m for the six months to June 30. Revenues rose by 22% to £279.5m – but Eurotunnel said the result would have been higher had £40.5m of indemnities for losses resulting from the fire not been blocked since May, 2009. The log-jam has been caused by legal claims brought jointly by Eurostar and SNCF against Eurotunnel’s insurers.

Eurotunnel has so far received £132.5m from its insurers following the fire. The blaze led to one section of the tunnel being unavailable between September, 2008, and February, 2009. Chairman and chief executive Jacques Gounon said: “I am pleased that traffic and revenues have both increased in the current economic crisis. “However, if our insurance payments remain blocked, we shall be unable to declare a profit this year.” Eurotunnel generates income by charging other freight and passenger services such as Eurostar to use the Channel Tunnel.

Disruption to European air traffic due to ash from the Iceland volcano boosted the cross-Channel market in the half year, leading to an 11% rise in Eurotunnel’s traffic revenues on a constant currency basis. Eurotunnel said truck shuttle traffic rose by 41% in the first half of the year, despite continued pressure on the cross-Channel market due to the impact of the recession. Car volumes increased by 17% against the same period a year earlier, while coach business was up by 8%. Revenues from railway services such as Eurostar and freight train services rose by 5%, it added.

Banker’s new role

■ RED ALERT: Eurotunnel boss Jacques Gounon

Energy firms in talks over tie-up

£2.9bn offer for Tomkins

ENERGY company International Power is in talks over a possible tie-up with GDF Suez, of France. International’s UK assets include the giant coal-fired station at Rugeley in Staffordshire. The two companies said the proposed new entity – combining International Power and the international assets of GDF – would continue to be listed on the London Stock Exchange with GDF as its majority shareholder. Talks between the two collapsed in January after they failed to agree terms and the UK firm’s biggest investors reportedly demanded a greater element of cash in any deal.

INDUSTRIAL firm Tomkins is in talks over a potential £2.9bn takeover, it has been revealed. The group said it had received an approach worth 325p-per-share from a consortium comprising US private equity firm Onex Corporation and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Tomkins, which started life in 1925 as a small British manufacturer of buckles and fasteners, has opened its books to the suitor and confirmed due diligence was now at “an advanced stage”. Tomkins, whose range of products includes hosing and tubing as well as

It is thought that International could pay a special dividend to shareholders on this occasion as part of the deal to merge with GDF’s overseas assets. International Power is one of the largest independent generators in the world with interests in more than 45 power stations in 21 countries. As well as owning Rugeley, International is the majority owner of the First Hydro hydroelectric plants at Dinorwig and Ffestiniog in North Wales and the gas-fired station at Saltend near Hull. The company reported full-year profits of £1.16bn – an increase of 10% on a year earlier

power transmission systems, employs about 30,000 staff worldwide. There are 1,500 staff in the UK where it has six plants, including in Dumfries. The group shed thousands of staff after suffering badly amid the recession and a slump in car and housing markets, with its significant US operations taking the brunt. Its fortunes have since been revived by car scrappage schemes across the US and Europe. Tomkins said that sales soared by about 23% in the first six months of 2010. The 325p-a-share potential offer would mark a premium on the group’s 230p closing price on Friday.

THE body given the task of managing taxpayer-owned banking assets said that it had pulled off a “real coup” in hiring investment banker Jim O’Neil to oversee the sale of stakes in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland. Mr O’Neill will join UK Financial Investments in October as head of market investments from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he is head of the international corporate finance and restructuring. Mr O’Neil, 43, led the BoA Merrill Lynch team that advised Lloyds on its mammoth rights issue last year – a deal that helped the bank avoid handing over an even bigger stake to the Government. He will be paid a salary of £180,000 at UKFI, where he replaces John Crompton, another ex-Merrill Lynch banker, who resigned earlier this year. The Government has not set a timetable for selling its stakes in Lloyds and RBS, but is said to be looking at divesting the holdings in the coming months. Mr O’Neil said: “Disposing of these stakes in an orderly manner will be among the most important events in the capital markets over the coming years. “It is my intention to use all of my experience to protect and create value for the taxpayer from these investments.”

SHARE PRICES NORTH AMERICAN American Express £26.70 -0.47 Gannett 887.18 +0.66 Hess Corp £33.90 +0.09 Microsoft 1653.01 +18.52 Motors Liquidation 49.25 Wal-Mart Stores £32.45 -0.16 AEROSPACE & DEFENCE 1 Avon Rbbr 113 /2 BAE Systems 3181/4 -1/4 Rolls-Royce Gp 5791/2 AIM Brady Plc 67 +2 Dawson Intl 2 Man Brnze 36 AUTOMOBILES & PARTS GKN 132 +1/2 BANKS Barclays 2851/4 +5/8 HSBC 6231/8 +11/2 1 Lloyds Banking Gp 59 /4 -3/8 Ryl Scotland 431/2 -1/8 Stan Chart 1740 +34 BEVERAGES Diageo 1109 -5 SABMiller 19141/2 -7 CHEMICALS Croda 1130 -3 Elementis 98 681/2 +11/2 Johnsn Mat 1590 -24 CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS 7 Balfour Beatty 246 /8 -1/2 Costain 1981/2 +11/2 ELECTRICITY Drax Grp 377 +1/4 1

Scottish & Sthrn 1174 -18 Energy ELECTRONIC & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT Chloride 3711/2 Laird 105 -5/8 EQUITY INVESTMENT INSTRUMENTS Alliance Trust 314 -21/2 FIXED LINE TELECOM SERVICES BT Grp 139 -3/8 Cable & Wireless 571/8 -1/8 Comm Cable & Wireless 831/2 -11/8 Wwide Colt Group 1301/8 +11/4 KCOM 441/2 +1/2 1 Talktalk Telecom 117 /8 -11/4 FOOD & DRUG RETAILERS Morrison W 2823/4 +13/8 Sainsbury 3463/8 -5/8 3 Tesco 398 /4 +21/4 FOOD PRODUCERS AB Food 1031 -25 Nth Foods 46 +1/4 Tate Lyle 467 -21/8 Unilever 1891 +9 Uniq 11 -41/2 GAS, WATER & MULTIUTILITIES Centrica 3077/8 -11/4 National Grid 4883/4 +11/8 Pennon Grp 577 +4 Severn 1276 -4 United Utils 5581/2 +31/2 GENERAL FINANCIAL 3i Group 2733/8 +1 ICAP 4063/4 +7/8 London StockExch 6321/2 +91/2 3

Provident Financial 8541/2 -11 Schroders 1193 -8 Schroders NV 999 -3 GENERAL INDUSTRIALS Cooksn Grp 4141/4 -121/8 REXAM 3193/4 -1/8 Smiths Grp 1104 +2 GENERAL RETAILERS Ashley L 123/4 +1/4 Carphone Whse 198 +1/2 DSG International 261/8 -5/8 1 Home Retail 228 /4 -21/4 3 Inchcape 285 /8 -45/8 Kingfisher 2183/4 -15/8 7 M&S 342 /8 -45/8 Mothercare 513 -11 -1/4 Next £203/8 WH Smith 424 +13/4 HEALTH CARE EQUIPMENT & SERVICES Smith Nph 6001/2 -41/2 HOUSEHOLD GOODS Aga Rangemaster 1023/4 +53/4 Barrat Dev 937/8 -51/2 1 Persimmon 360 /4 -171/4 Reckitt Benckiser £323/8 -1/8 Taylor Wimpey 25 -11/8 INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING Charter 688 -5 IMI 7261/2 +11 INDUSTRIAL METALS Ferrexpo 2515/8 -15/8 INDUSTRIAL TRANSPORTATION BBA Aviation 1951/8 -3/4 Forth Ports 1202 -14 LIFE INSURANCE 5

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841/4 1113/8 513 68 1907/8 MEDIA BSkyB 6971/2 Chrysalis 1011/2 D Mail Tst 4567/8 ITV 50 Johnston Press 141/4 Pearson 9231/2 Reed Elsevier 514 STV Group 793/4 Trinity Mirror 751/4 Utd Business 520 UTV 1221/2 WPP 637 Yell Group 255/8 MINING Anglo American £231/2 Antofagasta 913 BHP Billiton 18161/2 Eurasian Natural 8381/2 Res Fresnillo 1050 Kazakhmys 1017 Lonmin 1420 Rio Tinto £301/2 VEDANTA £221/4 RESOURCES Xstrata 9181/4 MOBILE TELECOM SERVICES Inmarsat 719 Vodafone Group 1445/8 NONLIFE INSURANCE Admiral Grp 1409 RSA Insurance Gp 1223/8 Lgl & Gen Old Mutual Prudential Resolution Standard Life

+1/8 -5/8 -9 -1 -11/2

-1/2 -3 -1/2 -11/2 -21/2 -3 -21/4 -61/2 -4 -51/2 -1 +1/8 +10 +5 -1 -10 -7 +3 +3/8 +1/4 +95/8 -1 +1/4 -1 -3/4

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Local shares Carclo Chapelthorpe Marshalls National Grid Weir Gp

1501/2 24 91 4883/4 1182

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FTSE closed at

5148.2 Down 10.5 BG 10601/2 BP 3877/8 -191/4 Cairn Energy 4457/8 -31/2 3 Norsk Hdro 482 /8 1 Royal Dutch Shell A 1799 /2 +5 Royal Dutch Shell B 1724 +2 -1/4 Total £321/8 Tullow Oil 1123 -16 OIL EQUIPMENT & SERVICES AMEC 862 -41/2 Petrofac 1272 -9 3 Wood Group 337 /4 -11/4 PERSONAL GOODS Burberry 805 +51/2 PHARMACEUTICALS & BIOTECHNOLOGY Astrazeneca £321/8 +1/8 Axis-Shield 251 +2 1

1469 REAL ESTATE Brit Land 443 Captl Shop Cent 3245/8 DTZ Hldgs 611/4 Hamrsn 3651/4 Land Secs 577 SEGRO 2697/8 SOFTWARE ETC SERVICES Autonomy Corp 1866 Dimension Data 123 Invensys 2723/4 Logica 1083/4 Misys 2511/4 Sage Group 2351/2 SUPPORT SERVICES Bunzl 6971/2 Capita 7401/2 Davis Service 3663/4 Group De La Rue 9231/2 Electrocomp 2203/4 Experian 6481/2 G4S 2653/4 Hays 95 Homeserve £21 Menzies J 3801/2 Rentokil 1081/4 Smiths News 1063/4 Wolseley 1363 IT HARDWARE ARM Hldgs 3007/8 Psion 723/4 Spirent Comms 1171/4 TOBACCO Br Am Tob £223/8 Imperial Tobacco 1956

-9 -1/4 +5/8 -3/4 +23/4 +4 +1/4 -30 +1/2 +71/2 +3/8 -1 -3/4 -81/2 -81/2 -31/4 -61/2 -27/8 -1/2 -17/8 -3/8 -41/2 -27/8 -31/2 -1 -31/4 -3/4 -7/8 -1/4 -5

Arriva Brit Airways Carnival Compass Grp easyJet Enterprise Inns FirstGroup Go-Ahead Greene King Intercontl Htls Ladbrokes Mitchells & Butlers Natl Express PartyGaming Rank Org Stagecoach Group TUI Travel Whitbread

769 2017/8 £211/2 557 418 94 3677/8 1120 438 1104 1363/8 2975/8 2343/8 232 1025/8 1761/4 2183/4 1415

+1 -17/8 -1/4 -1/2 -31/2 -33/4 -9 -63/4 -4 -23/8 -53/8 -5/8 -51/4 -1/4 -61/8 -13/4 -20

FTSE 100

INDEX 5148.28

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FTSE 250

INDEX 9726.48

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TOURIST RATES Tourists going abroad can expect the following rates for sterling: Australia...................... 1.66 dollars Bangladesh................... 99.96 taka Brazil.............................. 2.43 reals Canada....................... 1.53 dollars China ............................. 9.25 yuan Czech Republic ...... 27.79 korunas Denmark....................... 8.41 krone Euro............................... 1.13 euro Hong Kong................ 11.27 dollars Hungary................... 307.39 forints India.......................... 63.36 rupees Japan........................... 125.92 yen Mexico ....................... 17.59 pesos New Zealand .............. 2.01 dollars Norway ......................... 9.20 krone Pakistan.................. 122.95 rupees Philippines ................. 60.77 pesos South Africa................. 10.88 rand South Korea.............. 1618.00 won Sri Lanka ................ 162.44 rupees Sweden....................... 10.79 krona Switzerland.................. 1.53 francs Taiwan ...................... 42.89 dollars Turkey....................... 2.23 new lira USA ............................ 1.46 dollars


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS IF Marcos White is all smiles, it’s hardly surprising. The proprietor of The Courtyard Dental Practice is on the threshold of expanding further the business he runs with cheerful efficiency in stylishly converted cottages at Huddersfield’s historic Wormalds Yard. And its all getting very busy. The practice is finalising a calls management system to cope with an ever-increasing number of enquiries and bookings from its growing customer base. And Marcos freely admits the time is fast approaching to consider opening another centre to meet burgeoning demand for cosmetic dental treatment. “Right now the phones are in meltdown,” he says. “We need more people to answer the phones. “It isn’t feasible to have 15 people doing that here, so we are setting up a call centre. “However, it is always about the personal touch, so the intention is to give people the same service they have always received. “All our clients already have the personal mobile phone of their dentist. Whenever we have gone in for awards, the judges have said: ‘What! Don’t you get calls from people with toothache at two in the morning?’ We say: ‘No, because our dentists are good!’ Instead, we tend to get thank-you calls, which is a nice thing.” Marcos believes people should have the telephone number of their dentist just as they might for the family doctor – or the vet. It’s all about personal service, he says. The team of five cosmetic dentists at The Courtyard build “free time” into their diaries to enable people to make emergency appointments. “Someone with toothache or a need for cosmetic surgery need it now,” he says. “They don’t want to have to book days or weeks in advance.” Marcos is doing what he always wanted to do. “As a child, I used to tell my dad that I wanted to be a dentist,” he recalls. “When it came to taking my A-levels, he reminded me of that! “I got my A-levels and went to Leeds University dental school, which has an excellent reputation. “My first experience as a dentist was fitting silver fillings into the heads of people who did not want to be there. “I wanted to work in dentistry where people wanted to have it done and were glad to see me. “People think about extractions and silver fillings, but dentistry is about helping people look and feel good.” Marcos arrived in Huddersfield having already practised cosmetic dentistry in Australia. “I needed a job and I interviewed for a number of practices in West Yorkshire,” he says. “The

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Look on the bright side me a post. He was a nice fellow and I felt I could learn a lot from him. “Less than two years later he decided to emigrate to New Zealand and I had the opportunity to buy the business.” The Courtyard was based in one of two converted cottages in Wormalds Yard. When the neighbouring business moved out, The Courtyard expanded. “It was just a single practice surgery, says Marcos. “Then, we expanded to two and then three. “For the first few years, the private practice was all on my shoulders because the other dentists were in NHS. “ Now we have five dentists working wholly in cosmetic dentistry and each with their own area of expertise.” The premises also got a stylish new look – based on the best of contemporary design already in evidence in Leeds and London. It was as far removed from the traditional antiseptic-smelling dental surgery as possible – with a decor and ambience made more relaxing with aromatic

candles and comfy sofas. “I’ve never known why dentist and GP surgeries have to have posters stuck to the wall with Blu-TacK,” says Marcos. “Private surgeries will invest thousands of pounds in equipment, but they don’t spend a few hundred pounds on flowers and candles. However, that’s what the clients notice.” The surgery day starts at 8am, although Marcos is usually in an hour earlier to deal with management matters before seeing patients. He lives in Leeds with his wife Anna, a teacher, and their young son Ben. Because Anna needs the car for work, Marcos commutes by train – giving him chance to sort out emails and giving him “an extra hour” to get some paperwork done. Most of The Courtyard’s clientele has been built up through referrals. “Often, when I have a new consultation, it is with a friend or family member of an existing client,” he says. “We get clients from all over the country – and obviously from Huddersfield,

■ TAKE A SEAT: Marcos White says dental surgeries need not be forbidding places with “poster stuck to the wall with Blu-Tack”

Page 3 Marcos White Role: Practice owner and lead cosmetic dentist Age: 33 Family: Married to Anna with son Ben Holidays: Spain and North Yorkshire Car: I travel by train! First job: Getting my five stars with McDonald’s Best thing about job: The clients – they really become like best friends Worst thing about job: Overcoming 50 years of negative preconceptions about dentistry Business tip: Aspire to be a perfectionist

Leeds, Manchester and York. “But we can have clients visit us from much further afield. One client comes over from France for their six-month check-up and another from Zimbabwe. “These clients come to us through recommendation – and where it is a matter of trust, people will travel. “Some clients can need hours of treatment. A few weeks ago, we had one client who was here all day.” Marcos is in no doubt about the importance of cosmetic dentistry – and insists people who want to improve their smile are not simply being vain. Looking good – and feeling confident as a result – can also boost general health and well-being, he says. “We made the biggest change to our business just as the UK went into

recession – we went private. “But we are booming now. A lot of our clients are what you might term ‘recession-proof’ but in some cases people are spending some of their savings – and whether there is a recession or not, people find money to spend on themselves.” Marcos is passionate about changing the image of dentistry – where people associate the dentist surgery with pain. “Often, our clients are people in their 50s or older who have had 30 years of bad dentistry, he says. “They come in feeling anxious, but they go out thanking you. You wear your smile everyday of your life, so why wouldn’t you want to look good?”

HENRYK ZIENTEK

Courtyard Dental Practice Work: Boutique cosmetic dental practice Site: Huddersfield Employees: 15 Phone: 01484 432855 Email: info@court yarddental.co.uk Web: www.court yarddental.co.uk


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Brewing up for bigger business A MARKETING agency with offices in Huddersfield and London is toasting its latest contract success. Scotland's largest independent brewery, BrewDog has appointed Manifest to plot a PR offensive aimed at changing perceptions of craft beer in the UK. Manifest was selected ahead of a long list of agencies across the UK that responded to an appeal for support from brewery co-founder James Watt via Twitter. Said Mr Watt: “We wanted to find an agency to partner with that is looking to break new ground just as we are. “Manifest is an exciting young agency and its proposal was not only the most creative response to our brief – it was also the most in tune with what BrewDog stands for.” BrewDog’s popularity with craft beer enthusiasts has fuelled a massive growth in sales in 2010. While the brewery is keeping its roots firmly in the craft beer fold, Manifest's brief is to connect with the conventional beer drinker and demonstrate there is an alternative to the dominant mass market brands. Richard McLelland, marketing manager at BrewDog, said: “Manifest shares our passion for breaking the mould and we're confident that they will unleash the potential of BrewDog and help us to inspire a beer revolution.” The brief is being handled by Manifest’s London office. Alex Myers said: “We're trying to do something different at Manifest and that seemed to click with the guys at BrewDog – there are a lot of parallels between the businesses.”

KIRKLEES BUSIN

‘Get ready for big cuts’

■ CUTTING COMMENT: Tim Parr, president of West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants

KIRKLEES firms have been urged to prepare for the impact of public sector spending cuts. Companies with contracts for public sector work have been warned to ensure they have plans in place if the worst happens – and their customers dry up.. Tim Parr, president of West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants, said: “These cuts are inevitable and businesses will have to accept them. “However, there are actions that can be taken to soften the blow and ensure cutbacks will not mean a company goes out of business. “It is clear that there are some deep-seated problems to address in the UK’s public finances and it is best to be prepared for this eventuality.” The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has called on businesses to review their current situation by: ● Checking when the contract is due to end. What are the penalties for either side if the

contract is terminated or finishes early? ● Speaking to contacts at the department or contractors to see if they know if they are likely to face a reduction in budgets and if so, when ● Rethinking the business plan to see if there is too much focus on public sector contracts and not enough private contracts ● Looking to re-negotiate contracts ● Diversifying in terms of what the firm can offer local government? ● Ensuring services provided by the firm give value for money ● Looking at other areas of the public sector by checking www.supply2gov.co.uk Said Mr Parr: “Some sectors, such as construction, are going to be harder hit than others. The key is to be flexible and not to panic if cuts affect your business. For businesses that have made it through the recession there are still tough times ahead.”

Equality issues come to the fore he Government has confirmed that the T Equality Act 2010 will come into force on October 1, 2010.

The legislation consolidates nine separate pieces of law –mainly relating to discrimination – into one single Act. It is still unclear whether parts of the Act will come into force at all, but the main changes are outlined below. The concept of associative discrimination will now be applied across all protected characteristics. Associative discrimination occurs where a person, “A”, discriminates against another, “B”, on the grounds that B is associated with an individual who holds a protected characteristic. This provision follows a case in 2009 where the mother of a disabled child succeeded in arguing she had been discriminated against on the basis of her son’s disability. Perceptive discrimination is also to be applied across protected characteristics. This occurs where a person, “A”, is discriminated against on the basis that it is perceived that he holds a protected characteristic. For example, a heterosexual man who is taunted about being homosexual will now be protected under the Equality Act. There was significant criticism about the state of disability discrimination provisions prior to the Equality Act, most prominently relating to disability-related discrimination. Therefore, ‘indirect discrimination’ will now be applied across all protected characteristics, defined

EMPLOYER’S BRIEF Neil Wilson

below: A person “A” discriminates against another “B” if A applies B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B’s. Furthermore, claimants seeking to succeed with a claim in disability discrimination will have a less burdensome hurdle to overcome to prove they are “disabled” under the Act. Previously, an individual had to show that their disability adversely affected a particular “capacity” from a list given in the legislation (such as mobility or manual dexterity). This no longer applies. A number of other changes are brought in by the Act, including the removal of the requirement for a comparator to be used in victimisation cases. The definition of harassment now also covers associative and perceptive cases and employers can be liable for harassment from third parties in the workplace across all protected characteristics. A specific provision is made for claims of combined discrimination based on a combina-

tion of no more than two protected characteristics. The concept of positive action is extended to allow employers to recruit or promote someone from an under-represented group providing that they have a choice between two or more equally suitable candidates. Pre employment health enquiries will be outlawed unless they are made for prescribed reasons. There will be a power to require large employers to report on their gender pay gap (although it is unclear when this will come into force and for what size of employer). One proposal which will not be adopted under the new legislation is for any further protected characteristics to be added. It remains to be seen whether characteristics such as obesity will fall to be protected in the future; the topical nature of this condition means the campaign for such protection continues to gather pace.

Neil Wilson is an employment lawyer at Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors

Shell provides springboard for ‘green’ firms SMALL firms with big ideas for tackling climate change in Kirklees are being invited to compete for thousands of pounds in cash. Since its launch in 2005, Shell Springboard has awarded £1.6m to 43 innovative low-carbon businesses. The awards provide a springboard for many businesses – helping them to raise their profile in order to secure investment. One of last year’s winners was Aeristech, a firm which developed a system that enables car manufacturers to downsize engines – cutting emissions and cost – without reducing performance. Since winning Shell Springboard in March, the Birmingham-based company has secured an additional £500,000 of investment. Shell UK chairman James Smith said: “Small businesses are a prolific reservoir of creative thinking on low-carbon technologies. Shell Springboard offers no-strings financial awards to help these businesses get their ideas off the ground.” Shell Springboard offers a financial boost for UK businesses with compelling ideas for tackling climate change. These must be ideas which will lead to greenhouse gas reductions, are commercially viable and are innovative. A total of £320,000 is on offer in awards of £20,000 or £40,000. Last year, awards were made to nine businesses from across the UK. The deadline for 2010 entries is 5pm on November 5, 2010. Full details and an online application form can be found at www.shellspringboard.org

Fare deal for celebrity chef CELEBRITY chef Rosemary Shregar and government minister Caroline Spelman were among the crowds enjoying traditional Yorkshire produce at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. Both ladies took a particular interest in deliciouslyorkshire – the campaigning brand for the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber. Rosemary, who has previously worked with Dewsbury-based Rixonway Kitchens, was impressed with deliciouslyorkshire’s newly launched guide to the best food and drink in Yorkshire and Humber. Now in its fourth year, Yorkshire’s Own Kitchen showcases deliciouslyorkshire’s members and their delicious offerings.


NESS NEWS

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From Denby Dale to frozen Alaska! A LEADING environmental consultancy with offices in Denby Dale has completed an international takeover. SLR Consulting has doubled its capabilities in environmental services for the offshore oil exploration and production sector with the acquisition of a leading Alaskan environmental firm Hoefler Consulting Group. The move comes when the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has focused the attention of companies in the sector on how to plan to tackle major oil spills. The takeover strengthens SLR’s position as a leader in onshore and offshore permitting and compliance. HCG was set up in 1995 and has 55 employees with offices in Anchorage, Alaska and in Fairbanks, Portland and Seattle in the USA. SLR Huddersfield office manager Elizabeth Simmons said: “This acquisition will further strengthen our offering in permitting and contingency planning for offshore drilling. “This is a particularly strong growth area at present given recent events in the Gulf of Mexico and we are already working with a number of major companies to review their spill contingency plans.” She said the announcement also represented a further milestone in SLR’s strategy of supplementing the growth of its own business through selective acquisition to strengthen and extend its technical and geographic coverage. The acquisition of HCG follows the takeover of Heggies, an Australian-based environmental consultancy with 140 employees, which was completed earlier this year. SLR now has almost 900 employees working from 21 offices in the UK and Ireland, 25 in the USA and Canada and 10 in Australasia. Key areas of SLR’s business include the energy

■ COLD COMFORT: Environmental consultancy SLR has acquired a specialist business based in Anchorage, Alaska

and mining sector where it is involved with both the oil and gas industry and renewable power including wind, energy-from-waste, hydropower and biomass. SLR is also the leading consultant to the waste management industry in Europe and undertakes a significant amount of planning and environmental impact assessment work for major commercial

developers. HCG’s expertise includes successful permitting for both routine and project-specific oil and gas activities. It has also carried out 300 air quality projects throughout Alaska. Clients include BP Exploration (Alaska), Teck Cominco and the US Air Force.

Asia offers ample opportunities IGURES reveal that just one F in seven businesses in the UK recognises that Eastern con-

sumers could drive new business opportunities. Yet, a new report identifies that there are a “huge range of opportunities” available to British firms to prosper from the “new markets, new global wealth and new business” in the East. The report, published by HSBC Commercial Banking, urges UK businesses to engage with the “new world order” as the East grows in importance to capitalise on its diverse customer base and to understand the opportunities for growth that exporting to Asia holds. “Looking East: The changing face of world business” is the first report which identifies the most influential current and future trends in “the East” and interprets these to define practical implications and opportunities for companies domiciled in

Europe. It highlights that ‘thinking businesses’ in the UK can proposer by factoring Asia into their strategic thinking, actively addressing how to capitalise on its diverse consumer base, skilled workforce and advances in research and development, while mitigating the risks posed by the macro-economic climate. The research also reveals that many UK companies already doing business internationally are recognising the potential; it shows they are significantly more likely to see the East as a market with an increasingly highly s k i l l e d wo rk fo r c e t h a n t h e i r non-international counterparts. And international traders are twice as likely to view the East as being a hub for increasingly sophisticated innovation methods. Noel Quinn, group general manager for HSBC Commercial Banking UK, said: “The UK is no longer looking at when West meets East, but at how the East will redefine the West

BANKER’S BLOG Jill Hague

and the way we do business. By understanding this fundamental and fast-paced change, British businesses can ensure they are in a position to respond swiftly and effectively; and it is the thinking business that acts now. There is still a high volume of UK firms that just perceive the East as a traditional 'low cost' production and labour destination, but there needs to be a shift change in attitude as Asia and the Middle East become the brightest prospects on the global landscape. “There is also a massive opportun-

ity for British exporters, Asia is largely positive about British brands and the consumer market is growing rapidly, giving UK businesses a platform to increase their trade. At HSBC, we are seeing export balances up by 45% compared to this time last year, which is hugely encouraging and demonstrates where some of the real opportunities for business growth lie. We have, and will continue to help businesses with the financial tools to take advantage of the opportunities in the East through our unrivalled on-the-ground presence, knowledge and local expertise.”

Jill Hague is HSBC area commercial director for Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield

Tie-up to stand the test of time A BUSINESS organisation has sealed a ground-breaking partnership with the world’s largest product testing company and a global leader in quality and safety compliance. The landmark agreement between Chamber International and Intertek follows detailed talks at Intertek’s Government Services UK headquarters. Intertek will benefit from Chamber International’s extensive network of business contacts and specialist expertise while Chamber International will become an access point for Intertek’s vast worldwide resources. “The fact that a world-class company singled us out from the rest of the UK Chamber network is flattering,” says Tim Bailey, international trade director of Chamber International. “The aim now is to help our clients make the most of this opportunity.” Intertek, formed more than a century ago, employs 25,000 people at 1,000 laboratories in 100 countries. It works with many governments across the globe as well as blue chip businesses testing products as varied as airliners and textiles. Intertek carries out testing for many of the large European consumer associations and tests products for some of the world's largest manufacturers. “This is the first agreement of its kind for Intertek and the potential benefits to us are very attractive,” said Chantelle Rowe, Intertek sales and solutions manager in the UK. “We’ve never worked in this way with any UK chambers in the past. However, Chamber International offers something completely new in terms of its wide range of services as well as its national reputation for innovation and efficiency.”


Industrial


KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

property

Manufacturers get their chance ■ HOMELY ADVICE: Demand for energy-efficiency improvements should provide opportunities for manufacturers supplying the construction industry, says the Manufacturing Advisory Service

“Changes such as replacing glazing and upgrading old boilers will eventually have to meet the same requirements as for new buildings. Display Energy Certificates, which publicly demonstrate the energy usage of a building, are

becoming mandatory in many cases. In fact, linking business rates to DEC performance ratings is being proposed by the Carbon Trust as a new measure for the not so distant future.” Mr Watson said manufacturers

Property plots TWO separate plots of land at Scissett are among 121 lots on offer at a property auction to be staged by Eddisons on Thursday, July 22, in Leeds, and on Tuesday, July 27, in Manchester. A site on Blenheim Chase, off Barnsley Road, has full detailed planning permission for a five-bedroom executive detached house. It has a guide price of £80,000-plus. Land fronting Lower Common Lane, which could be suitable for residential development subject to planning consents, is being offered with a guide price of £35,000-plus.

should recognise the growing market resulting from changing conditions. For example, modular construction techniques – where large elements of buildings are produced in a factory rather than on-site – would become more significant. In addition, a vast number of “spin-out” industries would benefit, such as those companies making sealants, heating, ventilation and triple glazed units. He said: “The sophistication of construction technology is increasing rapidly to include the production of innovative energy efficient products such as solar panels, photo-galvanic cells, ducting systems for air recirculation and control systems for heating and lighting. “Manufacturers supplying into the construction industry need to be up to speed now, ensuring they are best placed to exploit these opportunities.”

an office you can’t refuse! *

£89

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KIRKLEES manufacturers supplying construction companies have a unique opportunity to gain a competitive edge, it is claimed. Robin Watson, regional director of the Manufacturing Advisory Service, said: “At a time when every manufacturing business is looking to both move up the value chain and seek out new markets, the building industry presents an opportunity for a huge and varied number of manufacturers. “Building and construction regulations are changing significantly – with insulation and energy usage requirements increasing. As time moves on, these regulations will apply to more and more buildings, particularly domestic housing, and will become increasingly challenging to address. “Not only that, but existing buildings will also come under a d d e d p re s s u re t o b e c o m e ‘greener’ to meet the challenges of the Carbon Reduction Commitment and the UK’s legally binding framework of carbon cuts.

Page 7

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KIRKLEES BUSINESS NEWS

Movers and shakers

Page 8

They’re simply the UK’s best! Neil Wiliams

Chem Resist NEIL Williams, 38, has been appointed to the board of Chem Resist in Dewsbury – just three years after joining the company as a technical sales engineer. Mr Williams (pictured above), was quickly promoted to manager of the fluid transfer division shortly after joining Chem Resist and oversaw a considerable increase in both client numbers and turnover during the past two years. Chem Resist is a market leader in the design and manufacture of chemical storage tanks. Its fluid transfer division is a major stockist and supplier of pumps. The appointment coincides with Chem Resist winning another award. US firm Plastomatic presented a special plaque acknowledging distributors who have demonstrated superior sales and customer satisfaction levels. This accolade has now been awarded 15 times to Chem Resist, which has long been a member of Plastomatic’s Top 25 Club worldwide.

A FINANCIAL adviser support group based in Huddersfield is to represent the UK in a European-wide awards. SimplyBiz, which has offices at the town’s Galpharm Stadium, will compete against businesses from across the continent in the European Business Awards. The company received the good news at an event organised by award sponsor HSBC at its offices in London’s Canary Wharf. SimplyBiz will now battle it out against other companies to scoop a Ruban d’Honneur. Final category award winners will be unveiled on November 16 in Paris. Ken Davy, who is chairman of SimplyBiz and the Huddersfield Giants, accepted the

certificate at the London event. He said: “We are absolutely delighted to be selected to represent United Kingdom and it’s an honour to be recognised as one of the leading organisations in our country and in our field.” The European Business Awards aims to raise the profile of companies which combine innovation and commercial success with bringing benefits to the social environment in which they operate. Mr Davy was congratulated at the London event by Adrian Tripp, chief executive officer of the European Business Awards, and Noel Quinn, head of UK commercial banking at HSBC Bank plc, who said: “We are pleased to have taken part in the European Business Awards.”

Milestone for Maxine!

Alex Duckett

Knight Frank ALEX Duckett has been appointed an associate in the agency department at the West Yorkshire office of global property consultancy Knight Frank. Mr Duckett (pictured) joins the from Savills in Leeds, where he spent four years in office agency. He was born in Yorkshire and educated at Uppingham School in Rutland and Oxford Brookes University, where he studied business of real estate. Mr Duckett, 25, said: “These are exciting times for the property market in Yorkshire as we emerge from recession. Knight Frank is the perfect place to progress my career and capitalise on the opportunities out there.” Henrie Westlake, partner in charge of investment property in Leeds, said: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Alex’s expertise to our Leeds office. One of the best young surveyors of his generation, he is a very important addition to our team.”

Diane Simpson & Graham Hutton

Hainsworth WEST Yorkshire textile firm Hainsworth has promoted two leading members of the management team to director level. Diane Simpson becomes sales director and Graham Hutton production director at the Pudsey-based company. Ms Simpson has contributed to the company’s development in the past 23 years, most recently leading the Hainsworth brand review and restructuring the sales team across its four ranges of apparel, interiors, technical and industrial textiles. Mr Hutton has managed production for the company through an unprecedented period of growth over the past three years.

■ FEELING GOOD: Maxine Stead (centre) with 5,000th client Dawn Leigh (right) and her daughter Lindsay Curry A HEALTH spa is celebrating after enrolling its 5,000th client. Alexandra House, at Murray Road, Edgerton, opened less than three years ago – just as the country was entering recession – yet has overcome the downturn to attract thousands of visitors from near and afar. Dawn Leigh, of Halifax, was the lucky 5,000th client and was treated to flowers and champagne as well as some pampering treatments. Spa owner Maxine Stead said: “Despite these difficult times, people still want to take time out to relax and de-stress. “We’ve established a

successful business by offering people affordable treatments and great special offers while providing a high quality service and a friendly Yorkshire welcome.” Maxine said business had grown with clients visiting the spa from all over the UK and even abroad. The spa works with several local businesses to provide additional services such as hypnotherapy, pregnancy massage, psychic and spiritual development and mind, body and spirit workshops. Said Maxine: “The spa is looking forward to its next 5,000 clients!”

■ COUNTRY FILE: Ken Davy (centre), chairman of SimplyBiz, with Noel Quinn (left), of HSBC, and Adrian Tripp, of the European Business Awards

More women in the boardroom A CONFERENCE in Yorkshire to discuss the place of women in the boardroom is attracting attention from the UK’s big businesses. The Women’s Business Forum, which takes place in September at Harewood House, aims to address the under-representation of women in the UK’s company boardrooms. Major companies including IBM, BT, Grant Thornton, Barclays Wealth, Marks and Spencer, Ernst and Young, Natwest and PwC will attend the event. Heather Jackson, founder and director of the Women’s Business Forum said: “This is an issue that has come of age. With major corporates attending, we have been able to ensure that women from all regions of the UK will benefit from the event. “The response we have had from globally recognised companies has made it clear that businesses recognise the benefits and challenges of bringing more women into the boardroom.” The event will bring together directors, chief executives, chairmen and business women to discuss the most effective ways of supporting more women into board level positions. Said Ms Jackson: “We have seen the majority of bookings for the event come from outside the region. “While it is encouraging the event is appealing to a truly national audience, I do feel it could be an opportunity missed for businesses in the region. “Last year, it was reported that Yorkshire had 16% fewer women on its boards than any other region. I do hope that more companies, especially from Yorkshire, take the opportunity to attend an event that will be a catalyst to change.” She added: “This event is not about gender or diversity, it’s about business performance. It is not an event that will encourage positive discrimination as we believe that women should be promoted because of their ability and skills rather than by gender.” The Women’s Business Forum is structured to bring together senior business women and board level decision-makers to match the needs of the business to the career aspirations of women. It will emphasise to both male and female business leaders that a better balance in the boardroom will improve performance and aid the recovery. The event on September 23 will feature speakers including Kate Bostock, chief executive and executive director of clothing for Marks & Spencer; Collette Dunkley, global head of marketing and communications for Barclays Wealth; Asda chief financial officer Judith Mckenna; and former MP Virginia Bottomley. Go to www.thewomensbusinessforum.co.uk

Kirklees Business News July 20 2010  

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