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5490.1 ▲ 62.3

Angie Wade-Smith at the family’s new Liverpool city centre shop, in India Buildings Picture: JASON ROBERTS/ jr121211wadesmith-1

HIGHER oil stocks and a brief respite in the eurozone debt crisis helped markets push higher yesterday. Despite a slow start, the FTSE 100 Index finished 62.3 points higher at 5490.1 after the eurozone bail-out fund received a reassuring level of demand as it tapped the money markets for shortterm funding for the first time.


inside Firms backing Liverpool’s capital mission MORE organisations pledge to sponsor the “Liverpool in London” mission to help promote the region. PAGE 2

More capacity RAIL operators are adding thousands of extra seats to Lime Street services. PAGE 4

Revenues up THE company behind the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena has seen a sharp rise in turnover. PAGE 5

Wade-Smith returns to retail after six years EXCLUSIVE by Peter Elson


ONE of Liverpool’s most famous retail names has returned to the city after a gap of nearly six years. It will be the first time the Wade-Smith family has had its name on a shop front since their Mathew Street designer fashion store closed in January, 2006. Their new shop, Wade Smith Outlet, has opened in India Buildings’









swanky Holt’s Arcade. Its high-end stock is integrated with their newlylaunched online clothing range. India Buildings’ owner, Green Property, agreed to reopen Holt’s Arcade on Saturdays for shoppers after closing it for weekends a year ago. The new Wade Smith shop arose out of a setback a year ago when their Hope Street studio was burgled and stock for the online launch was stolen. After hearing a few months ago that three adjacent Holt’s Arcade units were available, Robert Wade-Smith,


who has been in retailing for 29 years, decided that this was an ideal showcase and shop front for the new business. A real family affair, it is co-owned by husband and wife team, Robert and Angie Wade-Smith, and involves their daughter Helen, 23, and son George, 21. All four family members have designed and commissioned different lines of clothing under their own name brands for sale in the shop and online. Although the shop is in the heart of Liverpool’s business district, they hope it will attract anybody wanting



high-quality fashionwear. Practically every item is sourced from the UK and is made in North West England. “We’re very pleased to have found top quality manufacturers from Cumbria to Cheshire and we’re proud to support them,” said Angie Wade-Smith. Their new business has taken about 2½ years and “substantial investment” to set up, she said. “The location in the central business district and the aes-




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Shop to show off online clothing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 thetic look of Holt’s Arcade is perfect for us. It’s a different sort of shop to what’s around here, but we’ve had a lot of interest.” The clothing style is modern wardrobe classic staples, said Mrs Wade-Smith. Prices for women range from £75 for a silk cashmere top to a £995 bespoke tailored coat, or men’s ties at £30 and currently discounted bespoke suits at £495. Michael Tapp, director of Green Property, said: “We’re very pleased indeed to welcome Wade Smith to Holt’s Arcade. It’s good to see the Wade Smith name back on the high street and especially bringing a breath of fresh air into India Buildings. “Most of our units have been convenience shops, but an upmarket clothes shop like Wade Smith makes Holt’s Arcade reminiscent of London – like the Burlington Arcade of the North.” ■ THE new Wade Smith outlet is open for business Mon - Fri, 10.30am - 5.30pm; Sat, 10.30am - 4.30pm.



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‘Super six’ pledge support for Liverpool in London by Neil Hodgson


SIX more organisations have pledged their support to the “Liverpool in London” mission. Merseytravel, industrial services provider NSG UK, graphic design company USP Creative and the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool are to sponsor the city’s London office for the first time. Meanwhile, UK property developer Benmore and Knowsley construction cost management firm Ian Robinson & Associates have renewed their support until September, 2012. They join the Tender Management Consultancy, based in The Plaza, Old Hall Street, which signed up in September. Liverpool’s London office, formerly known as the “Embassy”, is now in its second phase and is based at the former home of the Royal Mint at Royal Mint Court, Tower Hill. Chris Heyes, who heads up the London office for regeneration agency Liverpool Vision, said: “It’s especially important during the current climate to be selling the city proactively to investors and others. “But it’s equally important to give Liverpool organisations a base in London from where they can more easily access the largest market in the UK and sell their services. “These organisations clearly recognise the unique benefits of having such a base in the capital and we are very pleased they are willing to invest alongside us in activity to continue the city’s regeneration. “It’s particularly pleasing that Benmore and Ian Robinson have experienced benefits from using Liverpool’s London office during the first phase. “Neither company is based in Liverpool, but both are expressing great confidence in our plans and in the city itself.” Ian Robinson said: “I was keen to continue my support because of the opportunities it has given me.

The former Royal Mint, which is now host to the second phase of the city’s Liverpool in London drive “I have made a number of strong contacts through having a base in London and I have met with developers and other potential clients, which is vitally important to me if I am going to sustain and grow my business.” Sponsorship of Liverpool’s London office gives an organisation a London office address from where they can work, use the meeting facilities and more easily work on expansion plans in the South East.

The office is supported full-time by staff who act as a point of contact and ensure meetings run smoothly. Staff can also provide business connections and invitations to relevant events. Liverpool council leader Cllr Joe Anderson said: “I would like to thank these ‘super six’ for backing our London mission. Without doubt, being in the capital is enabling us to sell Liverpool in a more co-ordinated and compelling way, and what has been

particularly encouraging is the continuing high level of collaboration with our business sector in promoting our offer. “It is a continuing process. The good work must go on. In the current economic climate we find ourselves in, it is all the more important that both the public and private sectors continue to push the wide-ranging Liverpool offer and the many opportunities for inward investment that exist here.”

Contractors rally for Castle store

Fibre extended

LIVERPOOL’S St John’s shopping centre management team united four of its contractors to ensure the successful launch of the new Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation shop within the city centre site. The Land Securities-owned

MORE than 105,000 Merseyside homes and businesses will benefit from super-fast broadband as part of BT’s roll-out plans. Aintree, Bootle, Churchtown, Great Crosby, Huyton, St Helens and Widnes are among the latest communities to be included in the company’s £2.5bn roll-out of fibre broadband. The latest upgrades will be completed during 2012.

centre provided the retail unit for free for the next 18 months, and appealed to its contractors to provide their services for free to help refurbish the shop ready for opening. NG Bailey, OCS, Heritage

Building Solutions and Andron Facilities Management all responded to the call, and centre director Ian Ward said: “This is the first time Land Securities has united its contractors to enable a charity to get off the ground.”


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business




Spreading the good news about region’s hidden business gem Alistair Houghton goes for a drive with ROBERT MEE, chairman of Ellesmere Port Development Board THE best way to understand Ellesmere Port’s regeneration is to see it for yourself. And you couldn’t find a better tour guide than the enthusiastic Robert Mee, a proud ambassador for a town on the up. Mee, a former banker, became chairman of Ellesmere Port Development Board last year. The body, set up by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC), is charged with promoting the town as a great place in which to live, work and invest. For Mee, its message is clear – Ellesmere Port, often overshadowed by its larger neighbours, is a hidden success story. Recent successes include the decision by outdoor clothing specialist Regatta to site a distribution centre in the town, creating 200 jobs, while engineering firm Hertel is also expanding its presence there. Cheshire Oaks remains one of the region’s most popular visitor destinations – and it will grow still further next year with the opening of the largest Marks & Spencer store outside London. Essar Energy, the new owner of the Stanlow oil refinery, has pledged more investment in the site, while the Vauxhall plant goes from strength to strength, thanks to the success of the new Astra. And the board wants to turn the town’s overlooked waterfront into a magnet for visitors and residents. To demonstrate Ellesmere Port’s success, Mee decided he would drive me around the town, rather than simply meeting me in an office. And, as we drove away from Ellesmere Port station, Mee said he wanted to get the message out to the region that the town was thriving. “Our role is economic development,” he said. “But the real focus is improving perceptions of the town.” We headed towards the waterfront National Waterways Museum, across the M53. “This is one of our issues – getting from the main part of town to the waterfront,” said Mee. “We have the motorway dissecting the town, and that will always be the case. We’ve got the transport people at the council looking at what they can do.” We stepped out of the car, in a brief hiatus in the hail, to look out over the waterfront and an Easyjet plane landing across the Mersey. And Mee pointed out the land to the north west along the Ship Canal, where developer Peel Land and Property plans to convert a chunk of the dockside into a “residential, leisure and tourist destination” through its Ellesmere Quays project. The museum is the main attraction on the waterfront – but, because it is fenced off, people cannot walk from the town or from nearby apartments to the water itself. The situation frustrates Mee, but he hopes it is close to a resolution. He is in discussions with the museum and Peel over ways to make the museum free to enter. That could include opening up vacant waterfront units to provide the museum with a new source of income.

We got back in the car and stopped briefly on South Pier Road, looking out onto a patch of unused land. Mee hopes to see it converted into a “major leisure site”, possibly focusing on watersports. He pointed out that, while many other towns have already developed their waterfronts, his town still offers opportunities for canny developers looking for river views. Next, we headed to New Bridge Road. Areas around the motorway junctions in Ellesmere Port are liberally dotted with industrial and office units of all sizes. “Wherever you look, there’s businesses,” said Mee. “It’s amazing.” Mee has ambitious hopes of attracting more such firms. Vauxhall, for example, says it would like to see more components manufacturers based around its Ellesmere Port site. Mee said: “One of our big ambitions is to get an automotive accessories and supplies park.” Back on our car journey, we saw swathes of potential development land on New Bridge and South Roads. Mee said: “The land from here is in local authority ownership, which we see hopefully as a future technology park or an energy park.” We continued down New Bridge Road past the former Cabot Carbon site, which is currently being decontaminated. Mee said: “We think the site has the potential for a business or technical park.” As Mee drove, we discussed the role of the Development Board, which was launched in August last year. Its board includes representatives from Peel, Vauxhall, and CWAC, as well as college principal Sara Mogel and the town’s MP, Andrew Miller. For Mee, the board’s public-private mix is crucial. He said: “One of the successes of the board so far has been acting as a private-focused body between the authorities and the companies looking to move to the area. “Certainly with things like Regatta, things have moved very quickly. We were able to meet with them straight away. “Hopefully, showing a united front will help us to attract businesses. We go the extra mile.” On the other side of Junction 10, we headed to Cheshire Oaks where the under-construction M&S store came into view. “That store really is quite a size,” smiled Mee, as we drove into Cheshire Oaks. Mee sees Cheshire Oaks, the region’s biggest value shopping destination, as a symbol of the town. He said: “It fits with the benefits of Ellesmere Port. The commercial and industrial message is that it’s value for money. The land is value for money. The retail and office offerings are really good value for money.” Next, we headed past M&S and back along Stanney Lane to the town centre – where developments include a £3m extension at the Port Arcades shopping centre. One of the board’s next tasks, said

Robert Mee, in New Bridge Road, Ellesmere Port – an area earmarked for development Picture: STUART BOGG

Mee, will be to recruit a town centre manager to liaise with retailers and small firms on ways to make the area still more welcoming to visitors. As we drive along Stanney Lane, Mee pointed out the University of Chester Church of England Academy buildings, which will soon be replaced by a new Academy in town. The site is set to make way for an £11m sporting complex, including an arena for the Cheshire Jets basketball team. Mee said: “It will be good for Ellesmere Port to be able to say ‘this is the home of the Cheshire Jets’.” At the junction of Stanney Lane and Whitby Road, the towering rotunda of the newly-built West Cheshire College campus has already become a landmark. “The college is certainly iconic for

the town,” said Mee, as we drove into its car park. “You can see this crossroads is a significant part of our framework. “We have the new academy going up, the civic buildings at the side, and Whitby Road with the shops going down to the station.” We jumped from the car and headed into the college’s rotunda. Sitting at a table near the coffee bar, watching college students in festive outfits running a Christmas fair, Mee said the new college and its focus on vocational education would inspire a new generation of workers. He said: “I bring visitors and developers here so they can see the aspirations we have for the town. They can see we’re serious.” And finally we moved on to Mee himself. Nottingham-born Mee spent

q&a Highest educational qualification: Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland Best advice received: Treat all people in your business the same, whether the junior in the post room or the senior team Biggest achievement/ biggest regret: When I was appointed as chief executive of the retail division of Bank of Scotland, that was a

proud moment. But the biggest disappointment was that the merger with HBOS came 18 months later and it wasn’t for me. I left at that point Still to achieve: It would be terrific if, in a few years’ time, the young people at school in Ellesmere Port had a fantastic variety of jobs available to them when they leave education

his career in financial services – though, given the current climate, he jokes: “I tell people I used to be an estate agent”. He spent 30 years with the Bank of Scotland group, moving to Chester in 1981 to work for its Capital Bank arm. He rose to become managing director of Capital before heading to Edinburgh to become chief executive of Bank of Scotland’s retail division. He left in 2002, following its merger with Halifax, and spent time as non-executive director of other financial services companies, including Cheshire Building Society. Mee, who lives in Mollington, took up his unpaid role in Ellesmere Port in August. “It’s taking up three days a week so far,” he said, “and some weeks it’s every day. But it’s different and I’m really enjoying it.” We toured the college, seeing its kitchens for catering students, its professional hair and beauty salon, and even a fully fitted-out airplane cabin where students train to be flight attendants. And we looked out over Ellesmere Port from the top of the rotunda, before descending along the spiral ramp that runs around the inside of the building. The college overlooks an oftenoverlooked town. But, if Mee has his way, Ellesmere Port is about to stride into the spotlight.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business C&C wins £3.5m of kitchen contracts A CHESTER catering equipment firm has won contracts worth £3.5m over the past three months. C&C Catering Equipment has won deals for new build and refurbishment kitchen and service facility contracts with some of the UK’s leading organisations. Projects include the recent award for catering service areas and kitchens at Google’s new HQ building in London, a project which is valued at more than £900,000. Work is also under way on the major refurbishment of the Cafe Royal, in Regent Street, London, which is being converted into a 160-room luxury hotel. C&C is also working on a large scheme for kitchens, servery and coldrooms at Oxford Brookes University, and, closer to its home base in Chester, it is also working on its second scheme for the Chester Grosvenor Hotel, owned by the Duke of Westminster. C&C managing director, Peter Kitchin, said: “There’s a great deal of doom and gloom around in the economy, but we’re doing our best to fight this despondency. “There is business out there and many companies are investing in new equipment and facilities. “Alongside these major blue-chip schemes, we’re also seeing activity on smaller projects.”

RS Clare in awards joy LIVERPOOL’S oldest manufacturing firm, RS Clare, has won its fifth award of the year. The Toxteth lubricants manufacturer was triumphant in the chemical/ pharmaceutical category of the Insider International Awards, held at the Lowry Hotel, in Manchester, last week. Chairman Ian Meadows said the company’s latest awards success was a fitting end to a record year: “Sales are up 25%, as are exports and the number of people employed.”




Liverpool rail services get thousands of extra seats by Neil Hodgson


RAIL operators are adding thousands of extra seats to Lime Street services to boost passenger capacity. Northern Rail, which links the city with the North East and is run by Serco and Abellio, who also run the Merseyrail franchise, has introduced 50 additional carriages across its network through a Department for Transport rolling stock programme. It will add seating capacity to 20% of Northern’s major urban centre peak-time trains. Northern Rail regional director Lee Wasnidge said: “Overcrowding has been one of the biggest challenges we have faced, and one of the biggest causes of complaint for passengers. “Thanks to the additional carriages, we will be providing 84,000 extra seats per year for Merseyside during the peak hours. “We know that these extra carriages will not eradicate overcrowding, but will certainly provide significantly improved journeys for our customers from their introduction.” The new services were waved off at Lime Street by transport authority chief executive and director general Neil Scales and chairman, Cllr Mark Dowd, who said: “Any additional capacity on the route is good news, and we continue to work hard with all our partners to secure better services into and out of this area.” Northern re-opened the Allerton rail depot earlier this month, creating almost 50 new jobs, to maintain the extra rolling stock. As part of the increase in capacity by the Government, East Midlands Trains has added an extra 1,500 seats a day on its services between Liverpool, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester. It means an additional 10 trains every weekday on the busy Nottingham-Sheffield-Liverpool route will be

On the right lines with seating, from left: Merseytravel chief executive and director general Neil Scales; chairman Mark Dowd; and Northern Rail regional director Lee Wasnidge; with driver Adam Owen-Smith in the background strengthened to provide double the seating capacity. Next year, Virgin Trains, which has broken the 30m passenger milestone on its West Coast Main Line link which serves the Liverpool to London route, will add an extra four Pendolino trains and 31 carriages – which will

mean an extra 150 standard class seats on each of its trains. Rail minister Theresa Villiers said: “The Government is determined to tackle overcrowding and provide better, more comfortable journeys, which is why we are funding this extra capacity.

“We are now embarked on one of the biggest programmes of rail capacity expansion since the Victorian era. “In total, we plan to introduce 2,700 new rail carriages on to the network by May, 2019. These vital improvements will support economic growth and make life better for passengers.”

ReciproCity scheme aims to cut waste and help communities

PKF in medical award honour

A NEW recycling venture which could be rolled out across the UK has launched on the Wirral. ReciproCity Wirral sells surplus construction materials to charities and community projects for less than half the retail price. Working with the web-based business Recipro, launched by Les Owens in 2008, the new service on Bromborough’s Greenfields Technology Park allows good causes, such as schools, charities, scout groups or youth clubs, to register their project along with a “wish list” of materials. Construction companies can pay for the service to take their

ACCOUNTANTS and business advisers PKF have been named Accountants of the Year at the General Practice Awards 2011. The awards showcase the achievements of individuals such as practice managers and GPs, as well as the work of private sector businesses in the primary healthcare sector. Hilary Sharpe, a partner and member of PKF’s healthcare team, said: “This award is one of the highlights of what has been a very busy and successful past 12 months. “I am delighted that PKF’s expertise and advice to GP practices and other primary care organisations has been recognised.” Brian Ricketts, medical partner at PKF’s Liverpool office, added: “We hope to build on this success in 2012 and look forward to continuing to assist our clients across the North West and the rest of the country in developing their practices and new commissioning and provider businesses in the future.”

waste or surplus materials which reduces landfill costs and is detailed in comprehensive carbon and waste reduction reports. Some firms are also using the service as an outlet for endof-line, slow moving or returned stock, such as national merchant, Travis Perkins, which has donated 150 litres of paint through its DIY retail business, Wickes. John Leader, Travis Perkins group environment manager, said: “There are clear environmental, social and financial benefits for all parties involved, which fits perfectly with our strategy of creating a sustainable competitive advantage for

the whole Travis Perkins Group” Les Owens said: “With a background of 35 years in the construction industry, I understand the necessity of what we are doing as Recipro. “As the largest producer of waste in the country, the construction industry needs to work together at all levels to ensure it is working towards reducing carbon and waste, and Recipro provides a unique service to allow companies to do this. “By bringing in the community aspect as we have, we can also help businesses with their corporate responsibility obligations.”


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business

Maintenance firms ‘could benefit from UK Green Deal’ ENVIRONMENTAL organisation Groundwork Merseyside has given its backing to a Government plan to help people insulate their homes. The “green deal”, announced last month by energy secretary Chris Huhne, aims to help insulate millions of homes in the UK, reducing the country’s carbon

emissions while helping families save on their energy bills. Families insulating their homes under the Green Deal could earn a £150 grant, while the Government also hopes the scheme will boost building and maintenance firms that have been hit hard by the recession.

Tony Seasman, marketing and communications manager at Groundwork Merseyside, said: “We welcome this announcement because the measures are practical, simple and give an opportunity to educate people to understand just how much energy and money they are wasting. “Also, bringing energy effic-

City’s ACC venues hail sharp rise in revenue by Bill Gleeson


THE company that runs Liverpool’s BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena has announced a sharp rise in turnover for its last financial year. The figures reflect a busy year of events, including high-profile political party conferences. The Kings Dock venues recorded a turnover of £14.5m for the year to March, compared to just over £13m for the previous 12month period. ACC Liverpool also reported a net profit of just under £250,000. Bob Prattey, ACC Liverpool chief executive, said: “To experience an increase in turnover in the current climate is extremely encouraging, not only for ACC Liverpool but for the entire city region which benefits from our visitors and the events, which we stage to the tune of £100m each year. “Since opening in 2008, ACC Liverpool has established itself as a leading UK venue, with highprofile events including September’s Labour Party Conference and December’s up-coming Paul McCartney homecoming concert proving that 2011 has been another fantastic year. “The development of our Exhib-

ition Centre in 2014 will allow us to target new regional, national and international markets to further aid our growth as a business and increase our economic strength and profile as a worldclass city.” During the last financial year, ACC Liverpool welcomed 655,032 people through its doors. Other high-profile events included the Liberal Democrat party conference, the National Union of Teachers annual congress, the British Dental Association and the NHS Confederation. The Echo Arena hosted singers Rod Stewart and Rihanna, comedian John Bishop, a 22-day run of the hit musical Mamma Mia!, the 15th Anniversary Mobo Awards and Channel 4’s Famous and Fearless. ACC Liverpool also yesterday announced that it has beefed up its marketing team with the appointment of former journalist Nicky Hunter, as it takes the role in-house for the first time since it opened its doors for business in 2008. Mrs Hunter, 34, was previously senior account manager at North West public relations agency Paver Smith. She also has more than eight years’ experience as a journalist at regional and national titles, including the Liverpool Echo and Sport Newspapers.

iency to 14m homes will give struggling maintenance contractors a welcome boost, create jobs and benefit the economy and community. We support initiatives that achieve economic, environmental and social benefit. “Our hope with this initiative is that it must reach those who need it most.

“Fuel poverty is a huge problem where a number of factors can contribute to households spending more than 10% of their household income on fuel. Those factors are household income, cost of energy and thirdly the energy efficiency of the property – which the Green Deal can address.”

Timber firm set to grow

on the move New NW chief named at Redrow ■ SCOTSMAN Sandy McBride has been appointed to head up housebuilder Redrow’s North West division as managing director. Previously Redrow’s managing director in Scotland, he has transferred to the company’s UK headquarters at

Sandy McBride Ewloe, Flintshire. He said: “Redrow is an award-winning developer and a market leader, and I am delighted with the opportunity to take up a new challenge within the business.” ■ LIVERPOOL health and social care charity PSS has appointed two new trustees. Angela Jones was most recently chair of the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation

Board meeting: Mike Scott, left, business partner at Yorkshire Bank in Liverpool, and Mersey Timber managing director Terry Stephens KIRKBY-BASED kitchen and bedroom chipboard supplier, Mersey Timber, is launching a new e-commerce business after a £500,000 finance package from Yorkshire Bank. The family-run firm has developed four new website stores to sell its range of melaminefaced chipboard shelves and doors, and the finance package will be

invested in new stock. Mersey Timber employs 32 staff selling to the trade and public and has trebled turnover to £3.2m in the past decade. Managing director Terry Stephens, who runs the business with his wife, Kathleen, said: “The industry has really changed in the past 10 years. Gone are the days of simply

offering a choice of oak, beech and pine woods. People are now looking for a greater range, and that’s why we have opened our online stores.” Andrew James, managing partner at Yorkshire Bank, in Liverpool, said: “This is a perfect example of a business spotting a quality growth opportunity.”

Business in the Community call

VAT deadline

BUSINESS in the Community has called on firms across the region to enter its annual Awards for Excellence that recognise responsible businesses. Last year, eight North West companies were recognised in

HM REVENUE and Customs has warned that VAT rule-breakers have until December 31 to complete the VAT registration process under a time-limited campaign. HMRC launched a VAT initiative in July in which rule-breakers were offered a special plan to put right their tax affairs. Those who accepted must now register before December 31.

the national awards, including Warrington-based water company United Utilities and Newton-le-Willows plant hire firm Speedy. Raksha Pattni, regional director of Business in the Community, said: “As friction




between communities and business continues to dominate the headlines, it’s time to showcase that business can be a force for good.” ■ APPLY via www.bitc. before Monday, March 5, 2012.

Hilary Berg Trust, while Hilary Berg is a brand and communications specialist who has worked on nationally known brands in both the corporate and not-forprofit sectors. ■ ANDREW BUTCHER is the new chief operating officer of private wealth group Rathbone Brothers. He joins the executive team from Charles Stanley, where he was also COO, and will take over from Paul Chavasse who becomes Rathbones’ head of investment management early next year.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business



Music firm looks overseas after bank funding boost

Sunny future for Dalliam AUGHTON-BASED renewable energy heating specialist Dalliam has appointed Stephen Gurney to the board. His background is in the sustainable building sector and he joins fellow directors Bill Tyrer and Chris Sharp at the firm, where turnover has almost quadrupled this year. Mr Sharp said: “Everyone’s been talking about solar PV recently with the changes in funding and a rush to cash in, but we’ve seen much more steady and sustainable growth in our specialist areas – solar water heating and air source and ground source heat pumps.” Dalliam is seeing particular growth in supplying air source heat pump heating systems to the social housing sector and recent projects have included Beechwood Court, at Skelmersdale, and Beech Properties, in Manchester.


by Alistair Houghton LDP BUSINESS STAFF

MUSIC royalties specialist Sentric Music has secured funding to support its growth in the UK and overseas. Sentric, based in Liverpool’s Seymour Street, helps bands and musicians to collect royalties from concerts and airplay. The firm already represents 18,000 artists and has a catalogue of 50,000 tracks. It has now received a £130,000 loan from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), through the Government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, and will use that cash to recruit staff and develop its software. Sentric was founded six years ago by Chris Meehan and Phil Cooper, both graduates of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. It has developed its own software so artists can register their songs and gigs online. Sentric then ensures they receive any

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royalties due for their work. It also provides synchronisation services, where it places its artists’ music on television or in video games. Sentric has started working with artists in France and Germany, and is looking to offer its services to other countries. Mr Meehan said: “We’re continuing to experience significant growth and have already signed up more than 10,000 new artists this year. We’re confident of attracting more artists in the UK and also see good opportunities to expand in several European countries. “We have made this investment to ensure that our infrastructure keeps pace with the growth of the business.” Steve Taylor, senior relationship manager at RBS, said: “Sentric’s directors have taken a proactive approach to grow the business by investing in new staff and technology. “We are very happy to support their plans and welcome them as a new client of the Sentric has worked with artists including Liverpool’s Sound of Guns, above bank.”

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Independent financial advice

Time to concentrate on the things you can influence GLYN JONES, of Vale Financial Services, recalls that when a clever man wrote the following a couple of weeks ago – “Ignore events over which you have no control” – he was referring to what might happen to the euro or Wall Street, and advised us to concentrate on our own business and life. “In other words, concentrate on things you can influence,” says Glyn. He says perhaps not many worry about the so-called “big events”, but they certainly tend to dominate the news headlines and he does remember he may have mentioned this before! Glyn says he believes that some people do take responsibility for their own finances, while others can be put off by the constant doom and gloom about the “state of the economy”. And, as Richard Jones wrote in last month’s IFA page, he feels it is important to seek advice when dealing with your pensions at maturity or equity release and it is equally important, earlier on, to make sure families are protected in the event of the death of a breadwinner, and that money invested for retirement is working for you. Glyn says, if you have accum-

There’s no rule which says you can’t combine investment with some fun – Glyn Jones, of Vale Financial Services, Denbigh ulated several pension plans over the years, you should check to see if the charges are competitive, as some older plans are still based on old-style charging structures and could benefit from a review. He reports that, when he was in

Chester recently, there was little sign of “austerity”. Says Glyn: “Perhaps the word has lost its meaning since the days of rationing! Not that I remember them, but it strikes me that being told how much food you can buy

must have been harder to cope with than whether you can afford a plasma television!” He stresses that, if you have insurances against loss of income due to accident or illness, try to maintain them; it’s often the cornerstone underpinning your financial well-being that is easiest to cancel. And he goes on: “If you need or want to save income tax and can see yourself on the big screen, how about investing in an Enterprise Investment Scheme which could create films. They are risky investments but, in addition to the tax relief, you can visit the set and possibly be used as an extra. “There’s no rule which says you can’t combine investment with some fun. Somewhere between these examples lies the possibly boring but essential path to a comfortable retirement, that is, regular saving for the longer term.” He adds: “I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. “Here’s a resolution for you – contact one of us for a review of your finances and start the New Year with a clear head!” ■ VALE Financial Services is a trading style of pi Financial Services, which is authorised by the Financial Services Authority.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business




Mistake to leave financial education in the hands of our teachers

Alex Turner TOMORROW afternoon, MPs will debate the issue of financial education in schools after a petition reached the magic 100,000 signatures, which triggers a Parliamentary debate.

The petition called on the Government to “make financial education a compulsory part of the school curriculum”, a measure which has also been recommended this week in a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People. As well as the anticipated benefits to individuals, and society, of a financially-literate generation, the authors believe such lessons will “help equip the workforce with the necessary skills to succeed in business and drive economic growth”. Although my company works in schools around the UK delivering financial education through a hands-on

classroom simulation, I am not one of the 107,000 people who have signed the petition. Being on the curriculum is not the end in itself, it is merely one possible way of creating a financially-literate generation. A planned programme of financial education would create consumers who appreciate the benefits and risks of the transactions and agreements they enter into, would add subtlety to their understanding of different types of debt (like radiation, not all debt is bad), and would give them the

tools to manage their finances. But there is no reason why teachers, untrained in the subject, should be the people to deliver these life lessons. In my experience, their understanding of the problems, issues and, more importantly, solutions are as weak and incoherent as the rest of the population. The other issue is what would be taught. Knowing what ATM stands for or being able to recite a definition of what a fixed rate mortgage is may have its uses, but they are fairly limited. Of greater value is to grasp the

‘Being on curriculum is not an end in itself’

simple, but profound, idea that you must find a way to fund whatever aspirations you have for yourself. It doesn’t matter whether that lesson comes from teachers, parents, sermons, or scouts and guides – as a society, it is in our best interests for it to be taught. But putting financial education on the curriculum will have the same impact as making a wish to be a millionaire and tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain. There will be a few ripples to begin with, but it’s not a reliable way to get rich. ■ ALEX TURNER is the general manager of financial training firm Ambitious Minds

Insurance broker in recruitment drive as company grows LIVERPOOL insurance broker Butterworth Spengler is reporting 28% growth for the year ending October, 2011. The firm has also announced a series of promotions and a major recruitment drive for 2012 – and is planning a move shortly to larger premises. Earlier this year, the firm was awarded an exclusive deal to reduce Liverpool Chamber members’ business insurance costs. Butterworth Spengler has been trading in Liverpool since1924, and has enjoyed steady growth even through the recent recession. Director Gary Spengler said: “The Liverpool Chamber of Commerce deal has worked well for everyone concerned. “Through our business development pipeline further afield, we’ve also managed to boost our portfolio, especially in the region, by cutting Merseyside business insurance costs by up to 40% in many instances.” Mr Spengler also revealed that four new associate directors had been created following the sustained period of growth.

From left: The Liverpool Butterworth Spengler team – James Jaycock, Alan Tune, Andy Thomson, Mark Robinson and Peter Gee

LED lighting firm wins backing for UK move by Tony McDonough


A WIRRAL maker and installer of LED lighting systems has secured public funding as it looks to move manufacturing back to the UK from China. UKLED is to spend £80,000 on its Wirral facility with Invest Wirral contributing £20,000 to the project. The preparation work will involve investment in new machinery and adapting existing

premises to suit the new product. The move to manufacture in the UK is part of £300,000 investment programme by UKLED to establish the company as a leading supplier. UKLED focuses on the so-called “re-lamping” market and works with public and private sector organisations across the UK. Re-lamping is the re-modelling of an existing commercial lighting system by replacing existing bulbs and tubes with an LED equivalent. The firm claims the process is “significantly” less expensive than replacing light fittings that will

still be serviceable for many years to come. It has been contracting out the production of the tubes to Chinabased factories, but LDP Business reported in October that production would return to the UK. This will mean an increase in jobs at Wirral LED from four to 12, with production starting next month. Director Mike Parker said: “We have had fantastic support from the Invest Wirral team and the receipt of grant funding is testimony to their belief in our product.”

Cllr Phil Davies, Wirral Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said: “I was extremely pleased and interested to visit the UKLED manufacturing facility in Bromborough, and to meet managing director Mike Parker and his team to discuss how the council’s Business Investment Grant has made a positive difference to the company. “It is using the knowledge and experience that they’ve gained from working with the Chinese to create jobs and investment here in Wirral.”

MP tours Retail Academy KNOWSLEY MP George Howarth has visited Knowsley Training Academy, which aims to help 1,500 people gain jobs in the retail sector through its Retail Academy. Mr Howarth toured the 10,500 sq ft “shopping mall” at the Knowsley Business Park facility providing hands-on training, from customer service to stock control, cash handling and health and safety at work. Since opening in September, nearly 200 people have taken up training and from the first 45 to complete the course, 38 secured job interviews with 23 taking up full-time or parttime employment. Mr Howarth said: “The Academy is a welcome addition to training provision in the borough, and I hope it will be a real success.”

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business Bill Gleeson Why is the East doing better than the West? IF YOU look at the seasonal bustle around Church Street and Liverpool One, and all the queues of traffic forming at city centre car parks, you could be forgiven for doubting the validity of all the economic doom and gloom that the official statistics portray. Yet the fact is the retail sector has been very badly affected by the current economic slowdown. Consumers are holding back on their Christmas spending as they seek to carefully conserve their resources due to the uncertain jobs market. The outlook for the jobs market in the UK formed the subject of an intriguing report compiled by recruitment agency Manpower. The agency’s quarterly survey found that employers in the North West were the most pessimistic about their recruitment intentions next year. Indeed, the survey found an unexpected East-West split affecting England, and Manpower said that a line could be drawn down the centre of the country from the Scottish border to the South coast. Employers to the west of the line were pessimistic, while those to the east were optimistic. Manpower was unable to provide any insight into why this should be so. Clearly, we would expect the most optimistic region to be the South East, but why should the North East be more optimistic than the North West? Another East-West split emerged last week, this time on a global scale. The economists at Standard Chartered Bank predict that the eurozone crisis will subdue global economic growth during the first half of 2012. However, they believe China and Asia generally will pick up strongly in the second half of 2012, causing the rest of the world, including the US and Europe, to show some fresh signs of life. Fingers crossed the

bank’s economists are right about this. I WASN’T altogether surprised to hear about Merseytravel chief executive Neil Scales’s decision to emigrate to Brisbane, where he will take up a top job at the city’s transport authority. Such a move makes good sense, and not just because the weather is much better and the pay much higher. Brisbane, Queensland and many other places “Down Under” have not suffered from the same economic woes as Europe and America. The city’s proximity to booming Asian markets – and the wealth of Australia’s mineral resources that fuel that boom – has contributed to continuous economic growth. Brisbane’s optimism is such that, in contrast to the Manpower survey alluded to above, employers there expect to continue recruiting, so much so there is, in fact, a severe skills shortage. Australia’s doors remain open to anybody with skills who would like to move there. Mr Scales said yesterday that the offer from Brisbane was too good to turn down. Undoubtedly this was true. It will have been a good offer. But I also wonder whether psychology played a role. Western Europe is an extremely gloomy place at the moment, making it all the easier to jump ship if a good offer comes along from “Down Under”. I can’t really comment about Brisbane’s local politics, because I don’t know the first thing about it. What I do know is that many people see Merseyside as a frustrating place, with lots of narrow interests getting in the way of the bigger picture. Mr Scales experienced this frustration firsthand when he tried to build a tram network in Liverpool. There again, after 15 years in the job, perhaps he just felt it was time to have some fun in the sunshine.

Fears for futur The aviation industry has vowed to continue its fight against air passenger duty. Neil Hodgson reports AIRLINES and airport operators will continue to lobby the coalition Government for changes to air passenger duty (APD), even though they are “banging our heads against a wall” according to the owner of Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA). Craig Richmond, chief executive of JLA parent Peel Airports, fears a continued decline of the aviation industry in the face of the coalition and Treasury’s intransigence on APD, introduced in 1994 for flights originating in the UK. Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his Autumn Statement last month that the proposed 8% increase in APD next April will be implemented, despite intense lobbying by airport operators and the “big four” airlines of Ryanair, Easyjet, Virgin and the former British Airways (BA), now International Airlines Group after its merger with Spanish carrier Iberia. Under the new rates, from April next year, passengers in economy class flying no farther than 2,000 miles from the UK will see their APD rise from £12 to £13. In the next band up – covering flights from 2,001 to 4,000 miles – economy passenger APD will rise from £60 to £65, while those flying economy on trips between 4,001 and 6,000 miles will see their tax rise from £75 to £81. APD for economy passengers on flights of more than 6,000 miles (such as trips to Australia) will find their APD rising from £85 to £92 in April, 2012. APD for passengers in business class and first class will range from £26 on the shortest trips to as much as £184 on the longest ones from April. Last week, the Treasury issued its response to consultations on the reviled APD, claiming: “The Government has been consistent that the aviation sector must play its part in reducing the deficit and restoring the public finances.” This ignited a furious response from airlines and airport operators who interpreted it as a clear indication that previous claims by the Government that APD was an “environmental” tax to combat the effects of aircraft CO² emissions were a charade, particularly as APD will now create a double whammy for travellers after the introduction next month of the European Union’s (EU) emissions trading scheme that will almost certainly be passed on via higher ticket prices. Canadian-born Mr Richmond says he despairs at the coalition Government’s attitude to APD. “It’s crazy to say ‘fewer people are flying, let’s tax them more anyway’,” he said. And Mr Richmond said the UK’s stance on air tax was contrary to most other countries that have either refused to introduce it, or axed or reduced existing taxes. He said: “Most countries treasure their aviation industry because it is such an important part of business and tourism, and I just don’t get that feeling here.” Mr Richmond also highlighted the apparent unfairness of taxes from aviation being used to pay for other forms of transport, such as the proposed High Speed Rail 2 project, and other rail schemes.

He said: “We pay a lot of tax besides, and saying it is our duty to pay APD is fine, but money goes out of our industry and into other industries, ie, rail. “Why doesn’t rail pay its fair share? “I wonder what people would feel if they got on a train at Lime Street and their ticket said ‘£10 of this goes to the airport’? It goes in subsidies to other transport.” There is also a feeling that aviation is the Treasury’s new cash cow, and Mr Richmond added: “There is no love lost between Ryanair, Easyjet, BA and Virgin in the business world, but they’re all saying this is a big mistake. “Our tax is eight times the world average. “Everyone knows we’re heading into a very difficult time. If we avoid a second recession we will be pretty lucky, and there will be effects from that, but I would point out that in countries that don’t have this (tax) they have seen growth (in air travel and tourism).” Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary estimates that APD has led to 30m fewer overseas visitors to the UK over the past five years.

‘Our tax is eight times the world average’

Mr Richmond also warned that punitive taxes could cause passenger numbers to fall, leading to airlines concentrating on countries without APD. He said: “Ryanair has taken 20% of its capacity out of the UK, and even BA will base aircraft in Madrid through their ties with Iberia. We talk about businesses with mobile assets – these are the most mobile assets in the world, and I would be terrified if I was an MP.” In the meantime, he said the airport will continue to try and persuade the Chancellor to reconsider. He added: “I worry that the decline of the air industry will continue. It is going to be a gradual decline that hurts everybody. “We’re going to continue lobbying. We will just keep on trying to show the worth of the aviation industry. “But will the Government listen? I don’t know. Clearly not yet. We’re banging our heads against a wall.” Easyjet, the biggest operator by passenger numbers at Liverpool JLA, insisted it, too, will continue to press the case against APD. Corporate affairs manager Andrew McConnell said: “We are going to continue our campaign to encourage the Government to produce an independent


Wednesday, December 14, 2011 IN ASSOCIATION WITH

the big feature


re of UK aviation Craig Richmond, chief executive of Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s parent company Peel Airports Picture: GARETH JONES

Ryanair says APD is ‘disastrous’ for the UK economy

Emissions trading scheme poised for January take-off study on the true economic value of APD. We still believe it is having a detrimental effect on the economy.” And he urged the Treasury to follow other European states and acknowledge the damage the tax inflicts on aviation, saying: “It was having a detrimental effect in the Netherlands and was scrapped, Germany is going to scrap it, Ireland is going to reduce it and Northern Ireland is considering scrapping it in its entirety. This is why we will continue our challenge to the Government to publish an independent report.” But Mr McConnell warned APD will eventually have detrimental consequences for UK travellers and the economy, saying: “Airlines have already pulled routes and capacity. “We don’t need to do that yet, but we are watching the situation very closely.” Ryanair, the second-biggest operator at Liverpool JLA, was, as ever, pugnacious in its reaction to April’s APD rise. A spokesman said: “Like other UK airlines, we are deeply concerned at the Government’s decision to further increase APD – a tax on travel and families – which will undoubtedly lead to

further flight, route, job and visitor cuts in the UK next year. “It is about time the Treasury stopped lying that this is an environmental measure, when it is simply highway robbery. The Treasury’s line that ‘other European countries apply similar travel taxes’ is untrue, when Spain, Greece, Belgium and Holland have already scrapped these taxes and Ireland has reduced its travel tax from 10 euros to 3 euros per passenger. “Like many other airlines, we believe that the Treasury – if they had any intelligence and/or felt the need to tax tourism – should apply this tax to hotels, B&Bs and restaurants, rather than flights, which would at least mean that tourists would still visit the UK first, before they are taxed, rather than using this disastrous APD tax which is sending millions of potential UK visitors to Spain, Italy, France and Portugal, where they don’t pay these stupid travel taxes, and where they are frankly laughing at the stupidity of the UK Government’s failed tax and tourism policy.”

‘It is about time the Treasury stopped lying’

■ TRADING Gossip: Page 16

THE emissions trading scheme (ETS) comes into force across the European Union (EU) next month. It rewards, or penalises, airlines based on the amount of carbon emissions (CO²), or so-called “greenhouse gases” they are allowed. It is proposed as an environmentally-friendly levy and the more fuel-efficient airlines, or those operating newer fleets, should pay less. The levy has applied to various industries and sectors since 2005, but from next year it will now include the aviation industry. At the end of each year, operators are required to account for their emissions from the past year and to surrender the matching number of allowances to the competent authority, which is proposed to be the country that granted the operating licence. Depending on their actual emissions and their free allocation of allowances, operators have the flexibility to buy additional, or sell surplus, allowances.

Operators emitting more than their allocated amount of CO² will need to reduce emissions or – more likely – procure extra allowances. The scheme will apply to all airlines, either passenger, cargo or private, flying to and from the EU. It is estimated that ETS could cost the aviation industry about £3bn a year. Easyjet said it expects to pay out about £14m under the scheme next year. Airlines, while widely supportive of ETS, are, however, expected to pass the cost directly on to passengers through ticket price increases. But this has been challenged in some quarters, with industry experts arguing that, while APD is a tax targeted at passengers, ETS is not an excise duty, but a levy that aims to reward or penalise airlines for exceeding or failing to meet carbon emission standards. Therefore, some argue, it should not be “passable” to passengers because the penalties are meant for the airline, and not the passenger.

private business Chemicals firm stays buoyant in downturn KNOWSLEY firm Contract Chemicals has introduced new products to the market as it bids to make up for sales lost during the downturn. The chemicals manufacturer says it made “solid progress” in the year ending March 31, as it continued to invest for growth despite a slowdown in sales. Accounts recently filed at Companies House show turnover for the year stood at £19.3m – down from £20.4m the previous year. Pre-tax profits fell from £323,000 in 2010 to £45,000 this year. Ingredients made at Contract Chemicals’ Knowsley Business Park base are used in products from antibiotics to photographic paper and salt and vinegar potato crisps. The group, which was founded in 1997 and employs 81 people, generates more than 60% of its turnover from exports. The directors’ report said: “The group continued with solid progress in the year. “Demand from the agrochemical sector, which has been buoyant in recent years, weakened markedly mid-way through the year. Nevertheless, a total of seven new products were successfully introduced, helping to replace some of the lost demand and open up new sectors for the future. “The single largest new product introduction is secured on a four-year supply contract and has a turnover in excess of £1m per annum.” The report said the group’s product development arm was “at its most buoyant for several years”. It added: “This can often be the case following sector or global recessionary times where customer companies are inclined to outsource much more actively as a cautious approach is taken regarding internal capital investments.” ALISTAIR HOUGHTON


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business briefing 33rd year of growth for Domino PRINTING technologies firm Domino, whose services are used by the food, beverage and personal care sectors, improved profits by 10% to £57.4m in the year to October 31, after a 33rd consecutive year of sales growth – up 5% to £314.1m. Trading in emerging markets, the UK and Germany was positive, offset by weaker trading in North America, the Cambridgebased firm said.

Bunzl predicts sales bonanza GROCERY and retail and packaging firm Bunzl, which has operations in 23 countries, said revenues for 2011 were expected to be more than 6% higher this year, with more than half of this coming from organic growth. It invested £185m in 10 acquisitions over the year.

Profits pledge OIL and gas facilities service provider Petrofac has said it expects to deliver like-for-like profits growth of at least 20% in 2011, helped by a good operational performance over the year. The company employs 14,500 people and is listed in the FTSE 100 Index.

Nuclear jobs POWER supplier EDF Energy has announced £200m of supply chain contracts for its new nuclear developments in the UK, including the selection of the Kier and Bam joint venture for site preparation works at Hinkley Point C, Somerset, creating about 350 UK jobs.




Tel: 0151 546 5577 Fax: 0151 546 5588 Accredited with BS7412 & BS7950




Chamber chief calls for more QE after inflation falls SUPERMARKET price wars and the falling cost of petrol last month helped push inflation down further from its peak, official figures revealed. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell to 4.8% in November, the Office for National Statistics said, compared with 5% the previous month. A Treasury spokesperson

said: “Price inflation came down in November, and that is good news for family budgets. “The Bank of England and other forecasters expect inflation to keep falling over the coming year, which will provide additional relief.” Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jack Stopforth said the fall will reinforce the case for more

Quantitative Easing (QE) by the Bank of England. He said: “The fall in inflation was as expected and will accelerate in the early months of 2012. “The latest British Chambers of Commerce forecast predicts inflation will fall from an average of 4.5% in 2011, to 3.3% in 2012 and 2.0% in 2013. The fall in inflation

strengthens the case for an increase in QE. The latest figure should reassure the Monetary Policy Committee that it is correct to persevere with expansionary measures. “While an increase in QE is necessary, it is not on its own sufficient enough to support growth in the economy. “The Government must supplement any additional

QE with other measures including the rapid implementation of its credit easing plans. “In addition, moves to reduce regulation, and cut business rate increases next year, which are currently pegged to last September’s peak inflation figure of 5.6%, would help businesses grow and create jobs.”

High streets at heart of community, says Portas by Neil Hodgson


A THIRD of high streets are “degenerating or failing”, according to new Government research. And, by 2014, less than 40% of retail spending will be on the high street, according to the study, which also found that, over the past decade, out-of- town retail floorspace has increased by almost a third, while in towns it has shrunk by 14%. The findings were revealed alongside a Government-commissioned report aimed at revitalising high streets and shopping centres struggling to attract customers. TV retail expert Mary Portas proposed a national market day and relaxation of rules to stem shop closures. She proposed new “town teams” to improve the management of high streets, more affordable car parking and removal of red tape. She said: “Our high streets are a really important part of pulling people together in a way that a supermarket or shopping mall, however convenient, entertaining and slick, can’t.” Prime Minister David Cameron said the Government will review the report, which contains 28 recommendations, and respond next spring. Ms Portas said: “Our high streets can be lively, dynamic, exciting and social places that give a sense of belonging and trust to a community.

“Something which, as the recent riots clearly demonstrated, has been eroded and in some instances eradicated. “I fundamentally believe that once we invest in and create social capital in the heart of our communities, the economic capital will follow. “Those who see high streets purely in commercial terms need a reality check, because, without the engagement and collaboration of local people, many high streets will die and retailers, landlords and local authorities alike will see their investment wasted.” She said high streets had been “displaced” by out-of-town shopping centres, so people no longer felt they belonged to towns. She complained that many areas had been “clone towns” and said the recession was giving an opportunity to create something new. The report revealed that the number of town centre stores fell by an estimated 25,000 in the past 11 years, with almost one in six shops standing empty. British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: “We’re delighted that Mary Portas recognises that town centres need to evolve as quickly as customer demands change if they’re to remain relevant.” Dr Gary Warnaby, reader in marketing at the University of Liverpool Management School, said: “The review is to be welcomed – town and

Mary Portas – says high streets give a sense of belonging and trust Picture: IAN WEST

city centres are, indeed, multi-functional spaces. “However, the recommendation of ‘town teams’ to create plans for the future development of individual high streets seems to me to be very similar to the concept of town centre management (TCM) which has been around since the early 1990s, and how such ‘town teams’ would dovetail with existing urban management initiatives such as TCM and business improvement districts remains to be seen.” Maresa Molloy, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce head of policy, said of more immediate concern was the planned 5.6% increase in rates due to

take place next April, adding: “We support Mary Portas’s call for councils to use discretion when applying business rates, particularly for start-up companies. “If the Government wants to see businesses flourish and create muchneeded economic growth, it must go further and reduce the punishing, anti-growth rate rise facing all businesses in 2012.” And Federation of Small Businesses regional development manager, Neil Dutton, said: “This review needs to be given a proper chance to influence decision-makers and show high street retailers and services that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”


Spending toll

SIGNS of weaker demand for hotel bookings knocked Whitbread’s shares, despite a trading revival at its Beefeater and Brewers Fayre chains. Whitbread’s Premier Inn arm, which has 590 hotels and 43,000 rooms in the UK and Ire-

THE country’s largest floor-covering retailer Carpetright slid to a first-half loss yesterday as the consumer spending squeeze took its toll. The retailer, which operates 503 stores in the UK, recorded a bottom-line loss of £800,000 in the 26 weeks to October 29, compared with profits of £9.8m last year.

land, saw like-for-like sales grow 2.6% in the 13 weeks to December 1, against 4.3% for the first 39 weeks. However, shares fell by as much as 5% after the update fuelled concerns about the impact of economic turb-

ulence, and chief executive Andy Harrison admitted trading on a month-by-month basis remained variable. Coffee chain Costa also saw weaker like-for-like growth, although store openings kept the brand’s sales at 25.2%.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Investment Opportunity The Armstrong Portfolio A rare opportunity to acquire five high yielding multi let business space investments, subject to contract. The estates are available to purchase as individual lots, multiple lots, or as an entire portfolio. Farriers Way, Netherton Industrial Estate, Bootle, L30 4XL • Situated on the established Netherton Industrial Estate just to 2 miles south of the intersection of the M57 and M58 motorways • Multi let industrial estate totalling 35,925 sq ft • 34 units with an average size of just over 1,000 sq ft • Virtual freehold tenure with a site area of 2.52 acres, reflecting a low density of 33% • Net passing rent of £168,214 per annum • Reversion to £210,131 per annum • Asset management opportunities • Seeking offers in excess of £1,485,000 (one million four hundred and eight five thousand pounds) • A purchase at this level reflects an attractive net initial yield of 10.71% net yield of 10.82% based on contractual uplifts and reversionary yield of 13.37%.

Randles Road, Knowsley Business Park, Knowsley L34 9HZ • Situated on Knowsley Business Park at the intersection of the A580 East Lancashire Road and Junction 4 of the M57 • 12 unit multi let industrial estate totalling 33,079 sq ft • Freehold with a site area of 2.44 acres, reflecting a low density of 31% • Current passing rent of £113,658 per annum • Reversion to £132,316 per annum • Asset management opportunities • Seeking offers in excess of £1,039,000 (one million and thirty nine thousand pounds) • A purchase at this level reflects an attractive net initial yield of 10.34%, net yield of 10.49% based on contractual uplifts and reversionary yield of 12.04%.

Wavertree Boulevard South, Wavertree Business Park, Liverpool L7 9PF • Gateway business park situated off the A5047 Edge Lane, the main thoroughfare from the start/ end of the M62(Junction4) and Liverpool City Centre • Multi let estate totalling 31,915 sq ft with 156 car spaces (1:205 sq ft) • High specification units ranging from 437 to 4,041 sq ft • Freehold with a site area of 4.11 acres, reflecting a low density of 18% • Current passing rent of £308,310 per annum • Asset management opportunities • Seeking offers in excess of £2,546,000 (two million, five hundred and forty six thousand pounds) • A purchase at this level reflects an attractive net initial yield of 11.45%.

Thursby Road, Croft Business Park, Bromborough CH6 23PW • Highly prominent, situated on the established Croft Business Park off the A41 arterial route which serves the east coast of the Wirral Peninsula • Multi let estate totalling 18,565 sq ft with 84 car spaces (1:220sqft) • High specification units ranging from 792 to 1,929 sq ft • Freehold with a site area of 3.04 acres, reflecting a low density of 14% • Current passing rent of £128,000 per annum • Reversion of £151,940 per annum • Asset management opportunities • Seeking offers in excess of £1,036,000 (one million and thirty six thousand pounds) A purchase at this level reflects an attractive net initial yield of 11.68%, net yield based on contractual uplifts of 11.85% and reversionary yield of 13.86%.

Westwood Court, Clayhill Industrial Estate, Neston CH643UJ • Located in affluent Neston approximately 8 miles south west of Liverpool City Centre • Situated on the established Clayhill Industrial Estate off the main A540 arterial route for West Wirral • Multi let industrial estate totalling 32,545 sq ft • Nine units ranging from 2,451 to 6,105 sq ft • Freehold with a site area of 2.64 acres, reflecting a low density of 28% • Current passing rent of £122,368 per annum • Reversion to £143,571 per annum • Asset management opportunities • Seeking offers in excess of £1,207,000 (one million two hundred and seven thousand pounds) • A purchase at this level reflects an attractive net initial yield of 9.58% and a reversionary yield of 11.24%.

For further information please contact:

Bruce Poizer +44 (0)161 455 3795

Simon Lowe +44 (0)161 455 3745


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business




Government must act to ease the rates burden on businesses

view point

by David King, rating specialist at Edward Symmons, Liverpool RECENT announcements and changes to the business rates paid by occupiers of local properties have, for the most part, brought

little seasonal cheer. However, there are some brighter points. The September RPI inflation rate of 5.6% will result in most businesses receiving rates bills that are up by at least this amount next April. The new charges will be based on 45.7p in the pound, rather than the current 43.3p. There was an opportunity for the Chancellor to announce a lower increase in the Autumn Statement, but instead only a business rates deferral scheme is proposed. This will merely allow occupiers to delay payment of 60% of the 2012/13 increase (3.2% of the total rate bill) for two years. This will be of little

Smith & Sons sale raises almost £1m

SMITH & SONS has held its final Wirral property auction of 2011, selling more than two thirds of properties available and raising just under £1m. The sale offered 15 properties and, despite a smaller number of lots than usual, several properties attracted lively bidding and in one instance fetched more than twice the guide price. Houses in need of refurbishment were the star lots, confirming there is still demand from investors and builders for houses suitable for refurbishment and

benefit. The Government’s own figures indicate that they expect take-up to be very low. It was also announced in the Autumn Statement that businesses with assessments below a rateable value (RV) of £6,000 will see an extension of the current two-year rates holiday for a further six months. The scheme will now continue until April, 2013. The relief applies on a sliding scale to RV £12,000. In addition, the change will benefit businesses that have any number of small assessments, not just those

with one or two properties. One positive point in the Localism Act is that businesses setting up in Enterprise Zones, such as Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters, will qualify for rates savings of up to £275,000 over a five-year period, from April next year. From next year, councils will be able to keep any increase in rates revenue from higher total rateable values in their area. Unfortunately, the completion of developments in Liverpool that could increase the city’s rateable values is currently several years away.

‘Appeal process is currently taking far too long’

Business rates continue to be a major burden on both occupying and holding property. Concerns at the way rates are currently charged on empty properties continue to be well vented and are fully justified. It is clear these charges are inhibiting new development. The appeal process is currently taking far too long, with a large backlog of appeals at the Valuation Office Agency. Businesses need help now, rather than proposals that may give results in two or three years. We, therefore, need to lobby for the Budget to include measures that will address these points.

School of Tropical Medicine spruced up

thereafter letting or onward sale. A terraced house in Glover Street, Birkenhead, in need of substantial work sold for £62,000 against a guide of £30,000 and there was strong demand for a sandstone cottage in Mill Street, Neston, as well as a semi-detached house in Great Sutton. Several lots have sold post-auction with further sales expected. Smith & Sons’ next auction is to be held on February 22, with a January 16 closing date for entries.

BUSINESS to BUSINESS Commercial Premises


Freestanding Chester City Centre Office Building 14,000 sq ft with car parking Potential for Re-Development

Further information please contact Neil Dryburgh or Euan Ross at

The refurbished front entrance of Liverpool’s School of Tropical Medicine

Christie’s big hopes for Little Chef sites by Tony McDonough


Liverpool Meat & Fish Market Prescot Road, Liverpool

COMMERCIAL UNITS TO LET Shops/Warehouse units Offices/Cold Storage/ Open Storage land Contact

0161 980 1912

TO LET/FOR SALE Ind Units, Lpool City Ctr 0151 227 9191

UNITS TO LET 5,000−15,000 sqft. Initial Rent free period. 0151 486 0004 T J THOMAS 0151 708 6544 ERSKINE ST close to City centre Business units, 850sqft With int Office Space £550pcm

INDUSTRIAL UNITS To Let. South L’pool 500 to 4000 sqft, monthly tenancy, competitive rents. From £50pw Tel: 0151 427 5051

To advertise call:

0151 227 2000

CHESTER building surveying firm, Cassidy & Ashton, has overseen the restoration of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s Old School building entrance, in Pembroke Street. The world-famous school was the first institution primarily devoted to tropical health and opened in 1898. Cassidy & Ashton carried out a condition survey and contracted specialist stonemason Mays and contractor John Turner & Sons to carry out the work. The refurbishment was carried out over 12 weeks and included structural repairs to the stone work, re-pointing and the installation of new timber windows designed to replicate the original style. The front was also cleaned using sympathetic methods to wash away more than 80 years of soot deposits. Cassidy & Ashton director Dave Owen said: “The project was a challenge as we were working with historical stonework that was in a poor condition, and we were aware we were preserving a piece of the city’s architectural heritage.”

THE North West office of Christie & Co is marketing a number of sites on behalf of the roadside restaurant chain, Little Chef. Little Chef is currently conducting a review of its estate and has identified 19 properties it is seeking to let. Those available for let include eight closed Little Chefs and 11 former Burger King restaurants on Little Chef sites, which continue to trade. One of the sites for sale is a former

Burger King outlet in Parkgate Road, Saughall, some six miles to the north west of Chester. Christie associate director Martin Thompson said: “Little Chef is synonymous with convenient roadside locations and, while these sites have been identified as surplus to the estate and earmarked for letting by the company, that core advantage remains for any prospective tenants. “The site at Saughall is in a particularly unique location, being just off the new section of the A55 dual carriageway that joins North Wales and Cheshire.

“As a result, the site benefits from a large amount of passing traffic each day, which increases in the summer because of the many tourist attractions and holiday destinations in the area. “Moreover, the sites have tremendous potential for a variety of food and beverage uses as well as alternative use such as retail, leisure and office accommodation. “As such, we are anticipating a great deal of interest in this instruction.” Christie is also marketing sites in locations from Edinburgh to Hayle, in Cornwall.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business



Bruntwood gets Creative with new city office letting by Tony McDonough


BRUNTWOOD has secured two lettings at its Queen Insurance Building, in Liverpool city centre. PH Creative and Additions Accountants have agreed to take a total of 4,422 sq ft of office space at the Grade II-listed building off Castle Street. Internet marketing agency PH Creative has agreed to take a 3,350 sq ft suite on the first floor on a 10-year lease, and Additions Accountants has expanded into 1,072 sq ft of office space on the ground floor, on a five-year lease. Colin Forshaw, head of sales at Bruntwood, said: “These new lettings mark Bruntwood’s continued success as we approach the New Year. “The number of creative and media-based companies in Liverpool has boomed recently, and as such we have seen a growth in the interest in our city centre offices.

“The space we offer is ideal, as we can accommodate any size of business and offer flexible leases. We’re confident that this will see us secure more substantial new lettings in 2012.” Bryan Adams, managing director at PH Creative, added: “When we were searching for our new premises, a central location in high-quality office space was top of our list. “Queen Insurance Building is perfectly situated in the heart of Liverpool’s business district and close to our client base.” Liverpool City Council says the building, designed by architect Samuel Rowland, was “one of the earliest developments in Liverpool to include the provision of separate speculative offices for letting”. The building faces onto Castle Street and Dale Street, with a central covered passageway leading to the shops and offices of Queen’s Avenue. Retail tenants include Moose The entrance to the Queen Insurance Building, in Dale Street, Liverpool city centre Coffee shop.


Agency launches finance venture

LIVERPOOL commercial agency, Keppie Massie, has launched a property finance brokerage and consultancy service. It will be headed by Martin Murphy, who has worked in property finance for nearly 20 years with financial heavyweights including Barclays, Nationwide, NM Rothschild and Anglo Irish, as well as working as an independent broker and consultant. He will work closely with Keppie Massie’s clients to help them secure bespoke funding solutions for their projects. He said: “It is important that we match the client with the right lender. With access to prime and non-prime sources of funding, including senior debt, junior debt, mezzanine finance and equity, we can increase our clients’ funding options.”

Cheshire West & Chester Council

Freehold Development/Refurbishment Opportunity (Subject to Planning)

Former Parochial Hall, King Street, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 4AZ


FOR SALE BY INFORMAL TENDER Deadline for unconditional offers Noon on Friday, 3 February 2012

Ref: JGW

For details please call 0151 356 6454 or contact: Cheshire West and Chester Council, Facilities and Asset Management Department, Whitby Hall Lodge, Whitby Park, Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, CH65 6QY



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business Aerospace & Defence

49214 41478 Edin Invst 66034 546

Index 3260.18 ▲ 19.40 19712



36118 24818 BAE Systems




73612 36834 Chemring











39758 305 738

Avon Rbbr

55712 Rolls-Royce

19058 13258 Senior




HendSmllrCos 247


Law Debenture 34118




Scot Am



40112 Witan




Bco Santander


73078 46312 HSBC

49212xd +334 718


6958 2178 Lloyds Banking 2434 49

1738 Ryl Scotland

1769 116912 Stan Chart



7678 1414 Cble&WWwide 1718 xd






39112 26312 Sainsbury

29414xd +112


35614 Tesco





1182 940

AB Foods



Carrs Mill



58812 Cranswick

48818 28978 Britvic

31538xd +414

3518 314

Premier Foods 578

1390 1112 Diageo


68912 511

Tate Lyle

235412 1979 SABMiller

2216xd +3512

42478 31834 Dairy Crest

2137 1793 Unilever

Index 4782.48 ▲ 21.54 -4

18738 10712 Elementis





Index 3179.16 ▼ 6.78 35714 21458 Balfour Beatty 24518xd






41312 Mondi

88812 59712 Close Bros



57012 31158 ICAP



1076 769

London Stk Ex 769 xd


1124 842





1257 977



1922 1183 Schroders

12412 8314 Marshalls



Index 8078.37 ▲ 46.45 55512


44858 27938 Intl Power



1423 1159 SSE



Electronic & Electrical


29934 Rexam


43414 Domino Ptg



12778 Laird






26614 16438 Smith DS



1429 86912 Smiths Gp



2514 16

Ashley L


25914xd +714

31114 23458 Brown (N) Gp

23612xd +178


7434 5114 Debenhams

5814 xd


2512 938


Equity Inv Instruments Index 5325.64 ▲ 8.49

Dixons Retail



1034 30878

45934 26912 Halfords 7212 Home Retail

8714 xd

42538 26858 Inchcape


-218 -18 +178

39234 31014 Alliance

33634xd +134

1030 631

JD Sports

631 xd


14012 109

11634xd +234

28718 217





Br Assets

Personal Goods


1207 983



Index 18863.34 ▼ 312.46



Health Care Equip & Serv Index 3368.50 ▲ 42.97 521

Smith Nph




263112 1667 BHP Billiton



2150 1296 Fresnillo




53118 348

Glencore Intl



Industrial Engineering

1671 730




Index 6879.27 ▲ 113.85

1983 963




7555 4425 Randgold Res 6770





53812 Charter Fenner

92 35714 3712 612 132212

30 Anglesey Mining


MS Intl


4412 25




2063 1649 Spirax Srco



2218 1375 Weir Gp



Index 2173.38 ▲ 19.04

21458 Balfour Beatty 2414 Beale 51212 Compass Gp 1063 Dee Valley

24518 xd 2412 58612 1305 xd







Vodafone Gp





Nonlife Insurance

1754 80012 Admiral Grp


204718 165558 Marsh McL


36314 BP 26138 310


31618 22912 Resolution 24434 172

Standard Life

+1618 +14

2512 Johnson Serv

Cairn Energy



Premier Oil








2388 189012 Ryl D Shell B


Var 5Day




631 xd




2714 505

-114 +34



30834 PZ Cussons

Pharma & Biotechnology Index 9939.77 ▲ 146.00 3194 254312 AstraZeneca




112712 GlaxoSmthKln




1834 Vernalis



12012 79

Smiths News



1812 Speedy Hire

1127 715


Travis & P

2261 1404 Wolseley





Index 705.91 ▲ 14.60



31 Park Gp





977 Rathbone



-91 -3


2712 13

Big Yellow Gp

256 xd

62912 452

Brit Land


1251 74012 AMEC

91412xd +17

2954 2282 Daejan Hldgs



31738 Gt Portland





637 xd




10214 RSA Insurance

34 4634

Land Secs

33114 20434 SEGRO











36414 18078 Invensys

20034xd +178








23134 Sage


7814 xd +114

14714 6758 Logica

AEA Tech


+12 +412












Jpan Spec Sits




MoneyBuilder Dividend-



Spec Sits




Sth East Asia








Pratical Inv







Index-Linked Acc





International Acc




Pacific Acc




Property Bonds

-2047.14 2132.44



Enterprise Inns 3412

41258 30134 FirstGroup



1598 1190 Go-Ahead Gp 1329




Greene King


1435 955

Intercontl Htls



Intl Cons Airlns 148


15514 114


11412 8458 Marston’s






21558 Mitchells&Btlrs 22714


Punch Taverns 1012 -6

25478 Restaurant Gp 292







27178 13634 TUI Travel



1887 1409 Whitbread





132212 1063 Dee Valley











National Grid Pennon Gp

1600 1368 Severn 637

54312 Utd Utils






Armour Gp Crimson Tide


Dawson Intl



40234 Berendsen




67612 Bunzl

855 xd


1114 658

78612 61412 Capita






875 xd



2512 Johnson Serv




JJB Sports



19434xd +212

5912 32

Man Brnze








European Smllr Cos A Sterling Bd Unit Tst

Portmeirion P


Redhall Gp




Inc & Gwth








North Amer Acc








Low Funds

34114 207




6214 3234 Scapa Gp





Menzies J








34634 205






Young A

683 xd


2912 UK Coal


+ 12

1 2116 xd 600


-8 +1


£69 Cnv 312%................... £86







£50916 Tr 212% ....................£6614 £10434 Tr 9% 12.............. £105532












£105332 £101116 Tr 5% 12.............. £101116






European Union







£50 Cons 212% ................ £64





£1001132 £761132 Cons 4% ............... £93516











3378 Telme Gp


In order to give a greater range of Unit Trust information, covering a larger number of trusts, the list of funds changes each day as follows: DAYS PUBLISHED UNIT TRUST MANAGERS A to Com ................................................... Tuesday F to Inv....................................................Wednesday JP to Pru...................................................Thursday Roy to T .........................................................Friday

Hyder Cons


289.90 1.20


21978 G4S







56.83 3.83




Var 5Day


- 54.40 -



17312 55




29478 18214 Electrocmps

249.40 5.70



4958 1512 API Gp 178



34534 28258 Centrica




240.20 2.86



Monthly Inc

Index 4527.07 ▲ 12.56



UK Equity Inc A




Gilt & FI


20434 1014 Thomas Cook 1478

64912 530


Gilt & Fixed


27238 200


-7 +114




Utd Utils




- 12


Amer Spec Sits









51212 Compass Gp




Price Gross






21134 9938 Ashtead Gp

De La Rue






Cancel Fund

3153 1742 Carnival




Travel & Leisure Index 4119.82 ▲ 14.94

2034 1389 Aggreko


1793 Unilever


Index 694.40 ▲ 1.88

3412 Sportech




Index 4103.22 ▲ 49.07







3021 228212 Br Am Tob 2376 1784 Imperial Tob

Support Services



Index 34768.39 ▲ 226.98


6312 4014 Emblaze


Speedy Hire

10912 Spirent Cms

Software & Comp Servs

▼ 0.93%






15334 10912 Rank Gp -4


10234 4912 Psion

7912 918

Index 1958.11 35214 218

38958 ARM Hldgs



Tech Hardware & Equip


Real Estate





Index 22262.01 ▲ 614.90

down 10.70



Oil Equipment & Services

73812xd +10 39114xd


45214xd +734

1493 94512 Tullow Oil

61812 BSkyB




Index 3905.38 ▲ 46.87

612 JJB Sports

156412 1144 BG





14312 10214 RSA Insurance 10318




Index 1289.54 ▼ 5.51




18234 155


Lgl & Gen



Index 729.50 ▲ 6.33

Index 4091.28 ▲ 92.11




Mobile Telecoms










Index 8472.75 ▲ 189.69


108 NWF

5514 2912 UK Coal

Oil & Gas Producers

631 JD Sports Fashion



Life Insurance




47778 27514 Aviva

410 Nichols


Index 3682.72 ▼ 1.46

301 easyJet


4712 271212 Rio Tinto

71912 38914 Inmarsat

Industrial Transportation

BBA Aviation

Index 19729.08 ▲ 212.97


31212 165








38558 737

6212 Molins



1119 63612 IMI




39734 22558 Bodycote

Var 5Day

+17 -3912


4314 2738 Taylor Wimpey 36


91412 xd


1634 90012 Antofagasta

59412 34338 D Mail Tst

74012 AMEC











19014 114

2810 1868 Next



12134 27

1600 1030 Burberry Gp


236712 +2012


23112 Albany Inv Tst

84612 578


3437 213812 Anglo Amer



9712 UTV








AEA Technology


Utd Business

77612 54012 Bellway

31514xd +278




40214 30134 M & S





62612 12714 Mothercare







3712 Trinity Mirror



6434 Adv Medical

8512 STV Group


6712 Barratt Dev




6212 Aga Rngmstr



59012 46114 Reed Elsevier


Candover Inv





Dunedin Sml



Household Goods


19412 DunedinIncGth 20712

To assist in the analysis of the market two figures are given for each sector. Firstly an index (set at 100 on January 1 1992) to give a comparison in the performance of various market sectors. Secondly an indication of the percentage change in the price of all the securities within a sector since the previous close.


15734 120 228

Share price (pence)

Dec 13, 2011

43334 WH Smith





24034 156

Index 1491.56 ▲ 2.64






s............ dealing suspended xd.............price ex-dividend xs ........ price ex-scrip issue xr ........ price ex-rights issue xc ..... ex-capital distribution xa................................ ex-all £......price value in £ sterling


42212 280


2816.23 ▲ 1.06%

9312 5158 ITV




FT ALL-SHARE up 29.43




5398.40 ▼ 0.03%







2986 1936 Signet Jwlrs

General Retailers




72412 39534 Cooksn Gp

Index 2597.73 ▲ 75.61



Index 2621.31 ▲ 25.86

58112 35914 Drax Gp



General Industrials


Morgn Cru



10478 61

Those securities which have increased in value since the previous close are shown in bold type.

Jun 13, 2011

3648 3015 Reckitt Benck


17678 3i



139 340

7634 4234 Low Bonar

35718 224




Index 6269.90 ▼ 3.91


Dec 5 - Dec 9



Index 4441.88 ▲ 24.72

1458 1097 Kier Group

1010 60012 Oxford Inst


Nov 28 - Dec 2



General Financial


Construction & Materials

1226 1012 CRH

Nov 21 - Nov 25


Index 6548.39 ▲ 34.40



683 xd +712

Forestry & Paper





2081 1456 Croda


30834 14412 Prem Farnell



750 xd




Index 5528.77 ▲ 14.95

882 -36



Food Producers

1395 1031 Barr (AG)


20-Day Moving Average




Index 10208.35 ▲ 134.00




32278 26234 Morrison W



2119 1523 Johnsn Mat

+2 +12


2038 1406


5490.15 ▲ 1.15%



Index 4557.00 ▼ 6.00

3334 578



Food & Drug Retailers

17858xd -278 47614


5278 3114 Cble&WComm 3778 xd

Index 3336.08 ▲ 1.87



Index 2202.14 ▲ 20.72


33312 13878 Barclays

211 xd

FT-SE 100 INDEX up 62.29


Fixed Line Telecoms

20418 161

Index 4175.79 ▼ 2.33




Automobiles & Parts


Closing Indices




32334 242

Keep track of all the major share moves of the day with our live FTSE ticker at


EdinUSTrkrTst 615

32778 26112 Forgn & C

72512xd +612 16512






£11838 £1131732 Tr 8% 13.............. £113916



£109532 Tr 5% 14................£11238


£100332 Tr 734% 12-15...... £101532


£310532 Tr 212% IL 16 ...... £3402132


New Zealand




























new lira




United States





£14112 £1322132 Tr 834% 17 ........... £141732


£152332 £1332732 Tr 8% 21............. £1511116




£601532 War Ln 312%............£9614


Last night, the pound was worth: $1.5526 (down 0.0069) ...........1.1863 euros (up 0.0037) ...........115.47 yen (up 0.58) ...........Its trade weighted index was 80.90 (up 0.10) Metals in $ per troy ounce: Gold 1672.50 (up 13) ............................Silver 31.34 (up 0.12) ............................Platinum 1492 (up 7) ........................... UK base lending rate 0.5%


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business London market HIGHER oil stocks and a brief respite in the eurozone debt crisis helped markets on both sides of the Atlantic push higher yesterday. Despite a slow start, the FTSE 100 Index finished 62.3 points higher at 5490.1 after the eurozone bail-out fund received a reassuring level of demand as it tapped the money markets for short-term funding for the first time. A successful Spanish bond auction and a ZEW survey in Germany that showed investor sentiment improved for the first time since the start of the year also boosted confidence. Oil industry firms were higher after Citigroup raised its forecast for Brent crude next year to as much as $120 a barrel, up from its previous estimate of $86 a barrel, amid supply disruptions. Royal Dutch Shell was up nearly 3% or 63p to 2388p and BP lifted 7.7p to 452.25p, while oil and gas facilities firm Petrofac topped the FTSE 100 Index risers board with a gain of 70p, to 1443p, after it also said it expects to deliver likefor-like profits growth of at least 20% in 2011. Premier Inn and Costa owner Whitbread was the biggest FTSE 100 Index faller after reporting slower quarterly revenues growth. It said underlying revenues growth in the regional hotel market had “virtually disappeared” The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Petrofac, up 70p at 1443p, Weir, ahead 65p at 1958p, Vedanta Resources, up 36p at 1101p and BG Group, ahead 42.5p, at 1367p. The biggest fallers were Whitbread, down 62p at 1514p, Burberry, off 27p at 1190p, Barclays, down 2.85p at 178.6p, and Standard Chartered, off 13.5p, at 1406p.



market comment

Another dangerous yearahead forEurope’s investors THE investment outlook in 2012 depends very largely upon Europe. If the euro fragments, there would almost certainly be a depression in Europe and recession in the wider world. If a practical way forward is agreed that convinces bond investors that they can safely lend to European governments in euros, there is the potential for a sharp rise in the price of risk assets, which would be driven “big stick” of an implied threat to partly by the deployment of investleave an intransigent debtor nation to ment funds currently frozen by uncerthe mercy of the markets while they tainty. have yet to fully implement a more The plan outlined by the EU Summit sustainable budgetary direction. last week ticks some important boxes. For us as investors, It proposes innovative routes however, we must recognise to increase capital buffers that a decision has been taken (using the International Monthat it is worth paying the etary Fund) and commits to price for a structural re-enginapply penalties for fiscal miseering of the euro after a behaviour in a new intergovTeutonic model, namely a proernmental agreement between longed recession caused by most of the members of the fiscal austerity compounded Email us with EU. However, details are conby accelerated deleveraging of your views at spicuous by their absence, the European banking system. letters@ including an understanding of, As a result, we must face the European Central Bank’s or write to us the fact that Europe will be a PO Box 48, Old (ECB’s) role as lender of last greater drag on global growth Hall Street, resort. in 2012 than had previously Liverpool The net result is that, been expected. Although the L69 3EB although steps forward have US and emerging markets been taken, we are still some may partly compensate, this is way from diffusing the tension curby no means certain – making for a rently paralysing the European bankchallenging outlook for global corporing sector and investors. Chancellor ate earnings. Merkel has recently done a good job in Adding to the uncertainty is the emphasising that there is no magic huge changing of the political guard solution (the ECB buying everyone out scheduled for 2012. Elections or leadof their difficulties), signalling that ership transitions will occur in USA, stabilisation will take time. China, Russia, France, Italy, Germany Looking at the situation through and Taiwan, to name only some of the German eyes, it is logical to retain the more important areas. Furthermore,

What do you think?

Chancellor Angela Merkel, of Germany, had to warn Europe that there is no magic solution to the current crisis the situation in the Middle East is far from stable (Iran and Syria) and surprises from there are unlikely to be positive – any spike in energy prices would add to burdens. The combination of factors will make for another year of living dangerously. However, one must also recognise that the problems are well appreciated by investors. There is little “naive” money taking inappropriate risks, little pressure on profitable corporations to cut back sharply, and valuations are not at levels that are consistent with the start of prolonged

(or profound) bear markets. Indeed, should Europe continue to take steps in the right direction, it may quickly be perceived that the Sword of Damocles has been lowered, even if not fully sheathed, providing room for considerable relief. Our best guess for stocks and shares is for a broadly flat but turbulent first half, followed by a more settled second half to the year – but there are few greater fools than market forecasters! John Haynes, Head of Research, Investec

For all the latest local and national business news online, log on to

business diary Monday, December 19 KNOWSLEY community interest company KPAC is staging a one-day training course in setting up a social enterprise. The course contents include issues such as “what is a social enterprise?”, the difference between

social enterprises and other businesses, considerations when setting up a social enterprise, management structures in a social enterprise and the “triple bottom line of profit, people and planet”. The course, with lunch and refresh-

ments, costs £49. Contact KPAC on 0151 481 0047. Tuesday, December 20 A PRE-START workshop in book-keeping and VAT is being held by St Helens Chamber of Commerce aimed at fledgling businesses. The seminar is free and takes place at the Chamber between 9.30am to 4.15pm. Places are limited to 18

people, so booking is essential. Call Elsie Jones on 01744 742019 or Jak Devlin on 01744 742096. Friday, January 6 A SEVEN-MODULE online ECDL beginners course in computer skills starts at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce explaining key concepts in IT, organising files and folders, word processing,

spreadsheet and database applications, producing and delivering a professional presentation and using the internet and email. The course fee is £150, but Chamber members receive a 10% discount. Call the Chamber for further details on 0151 227 1234. Thursday, January 12 SEFTON Chamber of Commerce is staging

its latest monthly networking event, supported by Kinetics Personal Training, from 12 noon to 2pm. The venue is still to be confirmed – contact 01704 531710 for more. Friday, January 13 A “60 REALLY Useful Minutes” session on improving the value of your business is being staged at Liverpool Chamber of Commerce,

hosted by Brian McCann, from Vanguard Corporate Finance, who believes the value of a business depends very much on who the valuation is being prepared for and will highlight some practical tips. The 9-10am seminar is free to members and £10 to non-members. Book online at www.liverpool


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

LDP business trading gossip ■

RYANAIR’S shy and retiring chief executive Michael O’Leary, below, was one of the keynote speakers at last week’s European Commission Innovation Convention in Brussels. And the boss of Liverpool’s second-biggest airline by passenger numbers was invited to send a CV for the event’s website. However, as the Tweeters at Innovation Dublin (@innovationDub) were keen to point out, O’Leary hadn’t taken it entirely seriously. It read: “Born in a stable in 1961, he was a boy genius, who excelled both academically and at sports. Having represented Ireland internationally at bog snorkelling and flower arranging, he graduated from Trinity College in Dublin as soon as they could get rid of

him. He then became another boring KPMG accountant until divine inspiration sentenced him to a life of penal servitude in the airline business.” And, after a plug for Ryanair’s fares, it ends: “It is widely known that women find him irresistible.”

BREAKING down international trade barriers and fostering global business links is at the heart of the Liverpool Chinese Business Network’s gatherings in the city’s Chinatown. Chinese and nonChinese firms meet over a vino and a buffet to, as the network’s motto goes, “first become friends, then do business”. But the most recent soiree in Berry Street’s China Palace managed to extend global relations even further, albeit a bit closer to home. Attendees included Rod Jones, of website services provider Catalyst; Vanessa Lloyd, from financial services firm Travelex; and John Takacs, of property group Plaza Lettings, who, after picking up a tinge of an accent, realised they are all fluent Welsh speakers – which will make for an interesting next meeting.



the back page

Work in licensed and leisure world is a joy

working day

Lisa Dixon is general manager at the Halewood Inns group. She is mainly based at the company’s Gateacre headquarters. This is her working day . . . 7am: I get up, having been on “8-6” shifts for the last few days, handling lots of corporate business – especially at our Crying Tree venue, in Grange Lane, Gateacre, which is also our headquarters. I look at the world via the web to see what’s happening and view our Facebook site before grabbing some breakfast. I thoroughly enjoy what I do. 8am: I need to get to the office by 8.30am, as I’m meeting a large law firm which has come to view our newly refurbished venue in Grange Lane. As a business, we’ve invested a six-figure sum in both our Gateacre and Aughton sites that opened in August, 2011. 8.30am: I’ve landed at the premises and it’s straight into a series of meetings with suppliers, our team and a meeting with the law firm. 10.30am: We’ve got a media visit and it’s been a busy, positive morning with the law firm booked in for a private function and, separately, a business conference. Their feedback was that they appreciated the quality and peace away from Liverpool city centre, and described it as a “haven of Victorian grandeur”. 12pm: The doors have been open for a while, and, while we attract a broad spectrum of guests daily, there’s a steady flow of business guests wearing their finest for Christmas lunch. I keep the team co-ordinated with so much going on. 2.30pm: There’s a bit of a lull in my day, or, rather, I’ve made one so I can eat something . . . another great thing about working for a licensed and leisure business – there’s always great food on the premises. 3pm: I’m going to spend some valuable time on admin. I slip into the office away from the crowd. We have some great characters that come in, so I can’t possibly do any work “on the shop floor”, so to speak. 3.30pm: Time for a stock take following a delivery, then I have a meeting with a TV production company looking at using our Gateacre venue for a

Lisa Dixon – spends her busy days co-ordinating her team . . . and mulling over vintage chic new show to be broadcast in spring. They want to look at our two new function suites. 4.30pm: More admin but very enjoyable, checking on the large number of Christmas parties we have booked in. It seems we’ve been able to get our message out there about the high standards we offer. I’m meeting a trade magazine shortly to discuss the same thing.

6pm: I’m leaving for the day, but will be on the phone to one of our directors this evening to talk about the day and the week so far. They are keen to hear about progress, having made a major investment in Halewood Inns in the past six months. 7pm: Catch up on some reading time, with To My Best Friends, by Sam Baker, while enjoying a quiet dinner.

Thinking about a visit to Flannels tomorrow for a party outfit, so long as it’s vintage chic. 9.30pm: It’s been a good day all round, and, because it’s that time of year, I settle down for the night with a festive movie. I’ve got a morning of meetings tomorrow with companies interested in completing their corporate hospitality arrangement for 2012, so, as always, I need to be alert.

LDP Business - 14th December 2011  
LDP Business - 14th December 2011  

16-page business news supplement from the Liverpool Daily Post