News in brief

Power base

The gas and electricity industry regulator is to set up a new corporate structure with headquarters in London. The organisation’s management will be split into three groups covering customers, supply chains, and regulation and price controls.

Eurofighter orders

Lucas Aerospace has won contracts to supply £300m worth of engine controls for Eurofighter combat aircraft.

Sub refit

Babcock Rosyth Defence has won a £100m contract for the 30-month refit of the nuclear submarine Spartan. Under the deal, ‘the lower the cost, the greater BRDL’s fee,’ the company said.

Mitsubishi closure

Mitsubishi is closing its PC hardware design and manufacturing plant in Glenrothes, Fife with the loss of 124 jobs. Talks with a prospective buyer for the site are at an advanced stage, the company said.

First float

First Engineering, the Glasgow-based rail infrastrucure business, which has won a £330m deal to maintain Railtrack’s network in Scotland, plans to merge or float on the Stock Exchange by mid-2002.

Scottish web

Scotland is setting up its own internet exchange to speed up e-mail transfer and cut costs. It is expected to be running by July.

Tartan tax

CBI Scotland has warned that the 1p rise in tax proposed by the SNP will drive business out of Scotland. Director Iain McMillan said that it would increase the tax burden of around 248,000 small businesses.

Fairey falls

Electonic engineer Fairey Group blamed the first profits fall in its 10-year history on a slump in the semiconductor market and the Asian crisis. Underlying pre-tax profits fell 41% to £34.2m.