Commercial Property News

Our magazines are published bi-monthly with in-depth features and news for the commercial property industry. On this page we have the latest news to keep you constantly updated on the market. On the left hand side of the page you can search our archived news which is stored monthly.

Tuesday, February 28, 2024

Property Executive Awards for Excellence 2006

Property Executive Magazine is holding Awards for Excellence in both Scotland and the North of England in 2006.

Property Executive will be holding this year's Scottish Awards at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Glasgow on Thursday the 14th September. Tables cost £950 for a table of 10. Individual spaces £95 each. To book call Steve Georgiou or Gordon Clark on 08700 115010 or e-mail

Property Executive North Awards for Excellence will be held at The Midland Hotel Manchester on Thursday the 16th November. Tables cost £950 for a table of 10. Individual spaces £95 each. To book call Steve Georgiou or Gordon Clark on 08700 115010 or e-mail

For further information on nominations, dates and previous awards please see our Awards page.

Kenmore Homes Group buys Hamilton Holdings

Edinburgh based Kenmore Homes Group has announced the acquisition of the Glasgow development and building businesses of Hamilton Holdings.

The £6m cash purchase has been financed through a fresh £25.8m package from Bank of Scotland Corporate and will see Hamilton Homes and AB Hamilton transferred to Kenmore's ownership.

The number of Scottish sites in which Kenmore operates will rise from three to eight, with Hamilton adding locations in St Boswells, Bothwell, the village of Middleton south of Edinburgh, and two sites in Glasgow. Kenmore is currently active on sites in Paisley, Greenock and Edinburgh.

Ashford Property Group purchases The Sugar Bond in Edinburgh

Ashford Property Group has acquired The Sugar Bond at Bonnington Road, Leith from Belgium fund manager Sofam for around £2.8m.

Ashford will complete the refurbishment of the building and will provide a total of 21,756 sq ft of new office accommodation set over nine floors, split into self-contained suites of up to 2,600 sq ft. The development will have a central reception area with 2 high speed lifts and high levels of car parking. The suites will be ideal for the SME sector and will be offered for sale, with prices starting around £460,000.

King Sturge advised Ashford Property Group, whilst Sofam was represented by Jones Lang Lasalle.

Friday, February 24, 2024

Morgan Sindall announce record profits

UK construction and infrastructure group Morgan Sindall have announced record profits helped by divisional operations Morgan Est, and Lovell. The company turned in a pre-tax profit in the year to December 31 of £41.7 million - a rise of 23% on the previous year - on turnover up by 6% to £1.29 billion. The group employs more than 5,000 people in the UK.

Morgan Sindall has four divisions: fitting-out offices, construction of schools and hospitals, housing, and civil engineering including work on a new terminal at London's Heathrow Airport and the Channel Tunnel rail link with France.

The company, established in 1994 from the reverse takeover by William Sindall of Morgan, said the shortage of affordable housing meant its Lovell business had an order book of £1.34bn over ten years.

Within Scotland the group is working on carrying out Scottish Water's £1.8bn waste and water network renewal project and the Rosyth strategic link road.

The company's Lovell affordable housing arm is currently working on Edinburgh council's kitchen and bathroom replacement programme and building 91 homes in Oxgangs for Dunedin Cranmore Housing Association. And its Morgan Est infrastructure wing is behind the building of a new rail depot at Haymarket.

Morgan Sindall has been picked as preferred partner for a regeneration scheme in Manchester, worth up to £200m to the company.

Two new tenants at Callendar Business Park

The Courtyard at Callendar Business Park in Falkirk is now 82 per cent occupied following two new deals. James Barr and DM Hall are the joint letting agents at the central Scotland business park.

The first floor of unit eight has been let to recruitment consultancy NRL Personnel and the first floor of unit six to the Council for the Voluntary Sector.

Lloyds TSB Scotland House Price Monitor

The Scottish house price boom is continuing to subside, according to the latest Lloyds TSB Scotland House Price Monitor. In the three months to 31 January 2006, the quarterly price index for the average domestic property in Scotland rose by 2.4 per cent to give an average mix adjusted Scottish house price of £132,433. Average prices have now risen for 20 consecutive quarters. However, these figures conceal a wide variation across the country.

Aberdeen and Dundee both record slight quarterly falls, yet continue to show the greatest annual rise. The fall reflects significant rises in previous quarters rather than anything of more concern. The greatest quarterly rise is reported in Glasgow which also shows a strong rise in the full year.

Edinburgh house prices are the most stable of Scotland's four main cities having entered the house boom ahead of the rest of the country. Outwith the cities, all areas report a modest rise in the quarter and a robust rise over the last twelve months.

Turning to property types, semi-detached properties recorded the highest annual rise at 19.8 percent, followed by terraced houses at 17.8%, flats at 17.6 per cent and detached houses at 13.2 per cent.

Professor Donald MacRae, chief economist, Lloyds TSB Scotland, said: "The Scottish housing market continues to display price increases greater than the rest of the UK. This is partly the result of price catch up and partly due to higher affordability in Scotland.

"The economic slowdown affecting the UK has not been experienced to the same degree in Scotland. Consumer confidence remains relatively high, while claimant unemployment is low, with overall economic growth prospects at between 1.75 and 2.0 per cent for 2006."

Wednesday, February 22, 2024

CB Richard Ellis appoint new head of Industrial agency and expand planning team in Leeds

One of Leeds most experienced property consultants, Stephen Tonkin, has been appointed to head CB Richard Ellis' industrial agency team in the city. His appointment coincides with the expansion of the Leeds office's planning department with two new recruits.

Stephen joins the Leeds team from Atis Real and will also work alongside director Kevin Bramley in expanding the development and agency team. He has a wealth of agency experience in Leeds, initially working for Weatherall Green & Smith. He is a past chairman of the Industrial Agents Society (North), a member of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce Property Forum and of Leeds Manufacturing Initiative .

Head of planning Jay Everett has recruited Richard Huteson and James Podesta from planning engineering management and environmental services consultants Scott Wilson. Richard joins as associate director and James as a planner, both bringing a depth of expertise and experience to a developing team.

Jim Voss, managing director of CBRE's Leeds office, said: "To recruit someone with Steve's background is a real boost to our agency team and adds strengthen to the whole office. The appointment of Richard and James reflects the success of the newly created planning department where in the last quarter of 2005 we generated a siginificant amount of exciting new work."

Rolls Royce site bought for £6m

St Modwen Properties Developments has completed the £6.35million acquisition of the former Rolls-Royce headquarters in Hillington.

The 31-acre site, now being launched as Pegasus Business Park, is being transformed to make it attractive for national and local industrial and distribution occupiers, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs.

Work will soon begin to refurbish the existing 800,000sq ft of accommodation to create units from 20,000sq ft to 130,000sq ft. Modernised office accommodation will also be available in suites between 200sq ft and 5000sq ft.

St Modwen is also preparing a planning application to construct four industrial units, from 15,000sq ft to 25,000sq ft, and hopes to begin construction during the summer.

Kenmore and BoS buy West Lothian industrial estate

A joint venture between the Bank of Scotland and Edinburgh based Kenmore Property Group has bought up a West Lothian industrial estate for £3.3 million.

Property adviser Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), acting on behalf of developer Oakbank, said it had sold the 77,000 square feet estate at Oakbank Park in Livingston to Kenmore Capital Limited.

Two vacant units of almost 34,000sq ft between them will be marketed by Kenmore on a leasehold basis.

Monday, February 20, 2024

Prestige Deal for City Residential

Leading property advisor City Residential has been chosen to act as an exclusive UK agent by a major international real estate company

The Prestige Group has selected City Residential to market its UK, European and worldwide property.

With existing opportunities in the UK, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, USA and Brazil, The Prestige Group is at the forefront of investment and development across the globe and City Residential is only one of ten agents UK-wide to have been selected.

Since its launch in 1993 The Prestige Group has placed more than £1.7b of investment with its private clients.

"It is a tremendous coup to have been chosen by Prestige as one of its UK agents," said City Residential's managing director, Alan Bevan.

"As one of Ireland's largest and most well respected property companies, their investment in research, knowledge, expertise and high level of due diligence is second to none.

"We've been keen to expand our portfolio of property and working with the Prestige Group is an ideal opportunity to offer a well researched, good value, turnkey property investment."

The Prestige Group's Russell Price added: "We selected City Residential after the superb work they did for us on Alexander Tower at Princes Dock. The team is talented, hard working and enthusiastic, which is what we look for in our agents."

Landteam buy into Houstoun Industrial Estate, Livingston.

Acting on behalf of clients Landteam, the Edinburgh office of Drivers Jonas has acquired six industrial buildings and one office building at Nettlehill Road, Houstoun Industrial Estate, Livingston for a price in the order of £2M.

The buildings, which total 85,000 sq ft, were purchased from ProClad International on a sale and leaseback arrangement of approx 50% of the accommodation. In addition, two warehouse units totalling 13,000 sq ft have been let to SeaMark Systems Ltd on a ten-year FRI lease.

The site will now be re-branded as Telford Square Business Park with the vacant units available to let with a programme of refurbishment and landscaping works currently taking place.

The vacant accommodation extends to 23,000 sq ft between two buildings, with a further unit of 8,500 sq ft becoming available in May 2006. Drivers Jonas and Andrew Reilly Associates have been instructed to dispose of the vacant units.

Catesby Property Group appoint three new directors

Catesby Property Group, which currently is developing the 120 acre Firstpoint business park at Doncaster, has appointed three new directors to spearhead the company's expansion plans in the UK. The new faces are -

Paul Brocklehurst, a former director of corporate banking at Royal Bank of Scotland, is the group's new managing director.

Gareth Williams, formerly a partner at international property consultants King Sturge and head of its development agency in Birmingham, has joined Catesby as commercial development director.

Andy Lee, who has joined as director of project management, spent the past nine years as a director of Stannifer Developments which was acquired last year by Multiplex Property.

The trio will work closely with chairman Eric Grove to build a sustainable commercial property business. Initially, Catesby is to concentrate on an area stretching from South Yorkshire down through the east and west Midlands and south to Bristol.

Wednesday, February 15, 2024

Forbes Homes plan further development at Peterseat Park, Aberdeen

Forbes Homes Ltd is planning further major development of the successful Peterseat Park, on the south side of Aberdeen, with the addition of units totalling 127,000 sq. ft.

The expansion includes nine detached industrial buildings, incorporating warehouse/workshop and offices, ranging in size from 10,000 sq. ft. to 30,000 sq. ft., on sites varying from 0.8 acres to 4.2 acres.

The encouraging take-up of properties at Peterseat to date means that at least three of the new units are likely to be constructed speculatively, with the first to be available before the end of 2006.

It is estimated that the three speculative units will represent an investment value of £4,000,000. In addition, a three-acre site is being sold to MacLean Electrical, incorporating Noskab, as the location for an office and warehouse.

Graeme Watt, a Director of F.G. Burnett, agents for Forbes, said: "The latest phase reflects the success of the Park and the strength of confidence in future demand for quality accommodation which is currently lacking in the city."

There are seven offices and industrial units at Peterseat, occupied by R S Components, Draka UK, Wartsila UK, Rowan Drilling, Global Gas, Precision drilling and Apex Industrial Chemicals. New headquarters for Champion Servo are nearing completion.

There is capacity for further expansion at the 55-acre Park which is within the well-established Altens Industrial Estate, one of the city's prime industrial and business locations.

£1.2bn Glasgow Harbour project unveiled

A revised masterplan for Glasgow's riverfront could create 10,000 jobs and a tourist destination rivalling Sydney, developers have claimed. The new £1.2bn Glasgow Harbour project aims to create a city district on the north bank of the River Clyde.

The regeneration project includes a casino, shopping centre, 30-storey block of flats and 10-screen cinema. Developers Peel Holdings said the development will create a "vibrant new quarter for the people of Glasgow".

Lindsey Ashworth, development director of Peel Holdings and director of Clydeport, promised "many new jobs, homes, business opportunities and leisure facilities in a spectacular waterfront setting."

The Glasgow Harbour masterplan includes -

A Casino operated by MGM Mirage
A 200-bed five star hotel
27,400 sq m of retail space
A 30-storey tower block
A riverside museum
A family leisure area

More than 30 hectares of the original 52 hectare plan have been redesigned. The new scheme to transform derelict land on the banks of the River Clyde has outline planning permission from Glasgow City Council. The revised masterplan will, say developers, attract more than two million extra visitors per year to Glasgow.

Business Parcs launches Midlothian's development

A new base for small businesses has been created the Lothian's with the official opening of the first phase of Straiton Business Parc. The development is sited on the Straiton Retail Park with direct access on to the city bypass.

The development, which houses individual air-conditioned units ranging from 1500 to 5000 square feet, has been designed exclusively for small companies.

Business Parcs, which has future plans for schemes in Dalgety Bay and Perth, said the completed first phase comprises nine two-storey office buildings which can be used on a floor-by-floor basis or to provide a self-contained facility.

London-based Business Parcs believes the park is the first of its kind in the region. The company said: "We anticipate Straiton Business Parc will become a flourishing business community and a unique entity. There is provision for a further two phases."

Monday, February 13, 2024

James Blair joins Anderson Strathern

Corporate Real Estate and Finance Specialist James Blair has joined leading Scottish law firm Anderson Strathern to head up its corporate finance team.

James is an acknowledged expert in the structuring of real estate transactions and has acted in creating and advising on joint venture and related structures involving major property industry players, such as Bank of Scotland, Miller Group, Hammerson plc, Network Rail, Westfield, Bass Hotels and Resorts, Capital & Regional plc and J Sainsbury plc.

He brings significant experience to the firm, having been responsible for completing several billion pounds of financing predominantly in the real estate sector, including acting for Chelsfield plc in negotiating, managing and implementing drawdown of the £1.6 billion permanent financing in order to take the organisation private.

James was previously a client of Anderson Strathern in his role as Group Solicitor/Company Secretary of the Stannifer Group, a property group which had over 3 million square feet of property under development and owned and managed major shopping centres throughout the UK and Europe.

Blair said: "I am delighted to be joining Anderson Strathern. Their client focused approach to delivering legal services is tremendously important to me and I hope in this new position I can assist in the development and growth of both Anderson Strathern and its clients."

Burnley's Elevate lead developers named

Following months of interviews, site visits and negotiations, Gleeson and Keepmoat are to be named as the preferred developers to build new homes and regenerate Burnley Wood, South West Burnley, Daneshouse, Duke Bar and Stoneyholme.

The announcement, at Tuesday's Burnley Council Executive, follows months of short listing from over 20 high profile developers to decide who could best achieve the high standards required by Burnley Council and Elevate East Lancashire. Issues such as housing affordability, community involvement and design innovation were all part of a selection process that aimed to get the best for the people of Burnley.

Council leader Stuart Caddy said: "We still have to finalise the details, but to have the experience of these two major developers on board is great news for Elevate, great news for Burnley Council, but most importantly, great news for the people of Burnley. Alongside the huge investment in our secondary schools, health and leisure facilities and plans to transform Burnley's town centre, this is an excitingopportunity, the like of which we've not seen before and is the birth of
a new, better Burnley."

Gleeson, who specialise in urban regeneration, will be the lead developer for Daneshouse, Duke Bar and Stoneyholme. Keepmoat, who have also been selected to work in five other Elevate equivalent pathfinder programmes across the country, are also experts in delivering community regeneration and will focus on South West Burnley.

Land Securities makes new appointments in the North of England

Land Securities has made two senior appointments following the continuing growth of its northern portfolio.

James Larmuth, who has been appointed portfolio manager and building surveyor Lee Collins, join the regional office at 1 City Walk Leeds, from which Land Securities - the UK's largest quoted property company - manages eight shopping and leisure complexes and 12 retail parks totalling almost five million sq ft.

The portfolio is spread across Yorkshire, the North East and North West and chartered surveyor Mr Larmuth, who joins from the Leeds office of Donaldsons, where he had experience of managing shopping centres in the UK and Europe, takes responsibility for Land Securities' recently acquired Victoria Shopping Centre, Harrogate, The Gate Leisure complex in Newcastle and The Coppergate Centre, York.

Chartered building surveyor Mr Collins, who has worked in the property sector for 15 years, joins from the Leeds office of Atkins and will have responsibility for maintenance and development activities at Coppergate, Victoria Shopping Centre and The Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland.

Land Securities regional director Gerald Jennings, said: "Our portfolio has grown with last year's acquisition of Tops Estates and, as part of our on-going programme of active management and investment, James and Lee will play important roles in ensuring that our occupiers and shareholders gain maximum value from the centres that we own and manage in the North."

2005 BCSC Diploma winners named

Retail property organisation BCSC has awarded 26 Diplomas in Shopping Centre Management to the Class of 2005 at a ceremony held today in London. The two-year course, run in association with the College of Estate Management at Reading University, has now seen 475 students successfully complete the course since it was started in 1988.

As with previous years, Awards were made to the outstanding students. Winning the Year 2 Award was Carolyn Mantle, Centre Manager at Crowngate SC, Worcester, who won First Prize for a 2nd year student. The 2nd Prize went to Samantha Rogers, Centre Administrator, Marlowes SC, Hemel Hempstead. 3rd Prize went to Jason King, Administration Manager, West 12 Shopping & Leisure, Shepherds Bush, London.

Also recognized were students who have now completed the first year of the course. Colette Lyness, Assistant Manager, Tower Centre, Ballymena, took 1st Prize, while John English, General Manager, The Shires SC, Leicester, took 2nd Prize and Darren Winter, Centre Manager, Freeport, Fleetwood, took 3rd Prize.

The College of Estate Management Prize, which is awarded to the student who made the most improvement over the two-year course went to Samantha Rogers (as above). The diploma course combines remote studies, on the job experience and contact time at the College.

This year's graduating class included two overseas students: Ieva Grinerte, a Portfolio Manager for SIA RB Management in Latvia and Elif Topbas from Istanbul, Turkey.

Further details on the course can be obtained by contacting the College of Estate Management on 0118 986 1101 or by visiting the college website:

BCSC Diploma in Shopping Centre Management Diploma Recipients 2005

Brenda Baker, Centre Manager, George Yard Shopping Centre, Braintree
Kathryn Bird, Office Administrator, The Lanes, Carlisle
Karen Brooks, Centre Manager, Stratford Shopping Centre,
Gary Dunkley, Centre Manager, The Great Northern, Manchester
Ian Fergson, Centre Manager, Gyle Shopping Centre, Edinburgh
Angela Greenlees, General Manager, The Mall Broadwalk, Edgware
Jason Gregg, Deputy Centre Manager, Woolshops Shopping Centre, Halifax
Ieva Grinerte, Portfolio Manager, SIA RB Management, Latvia
Jez Higginbottom, Fosse Shopping Park, Leicester
Jason King, Administration Manager, West 12 Shopping/Leisure, Shepherd's
Bush, London
John Lynch, Operations Officer, Wellgate Shopping Centre, Dundee
Carolyn Mantle, Centre Manager, Crowngate Shopping Centre, Worcester
Susan Nash, Deputy Centre Manager, The Victoria Centre, Llandudno
Kevin O'Hara, Centre Manager, Salters Shopping Centre, Droitwich Spa
Judith Ramshaw, Centre Manager, Royal Quays Outlet Centre, Newcastle
Julie Rayner, Centre Administrator, Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre,
Clare Riley, Workman Property & Building
Samantha Rogers, Centre Administrator, Marlowes Shopping Centre, Hemel
Malcolm Smith, Centre Manager, The Broadway Shopping Centre, Plymstock
Karen Steer, Financial Administrator, Wandsworth Shopping Centre, London
Philip Swift, Operations Manager, Concourse Shopping Centre, Skelmersdale
Elif Topbas, P&D/Cushman & Wakefield Healey and Baker, Istanbul, Turkey
Philip Wheeler, Britannia Shopping Centre, Hinckley
Robert Winter, Centre Manager, Princes Mall, Edinburgh
Sarah Wright, PA to Centre Manager, Anglia Square Shopping Centre, Norwich
Brian Young, Operations Manager, Harvey Centre, Harlow

Wednesday, February 08, 2024

Ledingham Chalmers commercial property team join McClure Naismith

Leading commercial law firm McClure Naismith has hired the Ledingham Chalmers Edinburgh-based Property and Social Housing team of two partners, three lawyers, and two members of support staff. Led by partners Philip Sim and Derek Hogg, the team will on 3rd April become part of a seven-partner Commercial Property Unit led by Nick Naddell.

The new team carries out a range of development, investment and occupational work with particular strengths in social housing, house building and health. It is ranked top for social housing in Scotland in the latest edition of Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession, with Derek Hogg being ranked as joint top leading individual lawyer in the sector. The team has worked on a number of significant housing transfer projects, including the transfer from Glasgow City Council to Glasgow Housing Association, and are currently acting in a number of ongoing local authority transfer projects.

The team will be based principally in McClure Naismith's Edinburgh office but will also play key roles in McClures wider UK business, which has expanded rapidly during the last two years. The firm recently announced the appointment of a new partner, Euan Pirie, in the Firm's UK Projects Team and during the second half of 2005 announced three new partners in the Projects, IP/IT and Banking practices.

Turnover has risen by just over 50% during just the last four years, and McClure Naismith now has 29 partners and well over 100 lawyers. The firm will be relocating both its London and Edinburgh offices this year in order to accommodate growth in the business.

House Price growth in 2005 weakest in a decade.

House price growth in 2005 slowed to its weakest rate for any calender year in a decade, latest Land Registry data showed.

House prices in England and Wales fell 1.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year to an average of £191,327. Over the year, prices rose 4.6 per cent, the slowest pace since figures began in 1995. This compared with the preceding three years of double-digit growth.

The slowdown followed a dip in house values towards the end of the year. However, the figures masked a sharp rise in sales of luxury homes, with deals involving properties worth more than £1 million up by nearly a quarter.

The Registry's figures cover price on completion of property transactions in England and Wales. They are seen as more authoritative but less forward - looking than measures that survey prices at an earlier stage.

Show apartment opens at Hyalus Bank, Perth

Sovereign House Developments have opened a show apartment at Hyalus Bank in Perth.

The apartment showcases a new style of contemporary living in the centre of town on St Catherine's Road.

The 50 apartments feature attractive external elevations with Juliet balconies to all upper apartments.

For added safety, there is a secure door entry system, while outside there are communal landscaped gardens, maintained by appointed factor, providing a secure, comfortable and low maintenance lifestyle.

Prices at Hyalus Bank, Perth range from £139,995 to £157,000 and for further information, contact the marketing suite, open Thursday to Monday, 11am to 5pm, on: 01738 629 148 or outwith these hours, contact Rettie & Co on: 0131 220 4160

Morris and Spottiswood secures £3.6m deal

The Scottish property support business has secured a new Edinburgh deal worth £3.6 million. The firm has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester,

Morris and Spottiswood said the contract to help convert office building Apex House into a 67-bedroom hotel was its first project with the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.

Thursday, February 02, 2024

Newcastle based Whelan win Landmark Award

Northeast based Whelan Construction Development has topped off what has been the company most successful year-to-date by adding a Landmark Award to its burgeoning portfolio.

Whelan beat off stiff competition from nominees around the Northeast of England to scoop the industry's prestigious award, which recognises building excellence in the region. Announced at the annual event in November, held at The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead, the award was in acknowledgment for the firm's Salvus House development in Sunderland.

A flagship headquarters for Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance; the 3,300sq m bespoke development was designed to provide longevity using high quality materials, whilst remaining economically viable. Specific operational logistics, communication requirements, and the local environment were taken into consideration, along with design elements to reflect the industries supported by Sunderland Marine.

Geoff Parkinson, Chief Executive of Salvus Bain, said: "Whelan was one of six contenders for the new office build. I was impressed from the start with their down-to-earth, straight talking manner and it an approach that continued throughout the project. They have delivered everything they promised and more. I found their service impeccable and I'm delighted to have worked with them. The end result has surpassed all my expectations".

The Landmark Award is the latest addition in a long line of significant achievements for Whelan, which this year celebrated the company strongest growth to date, having embarked upon a significant expansion plan, which will see Whelan double in size by 2010.

PPG buys former Channel 4 headquarters in London

The Edinburgh-based investment and development company has bought the former Channel 4 headquarters in Charlotte Street, London, for close to £23m.

Andrew Glasgow of PPG said the purchase complemented the group's redevelopment of 60,000sq ft of office accommodation in Lime Street in the City. The vendor, Invesco, was advised by Lewis Ellis, PPG by Wright & Partners.

Profits treble at Kilmartin Property Group

Kilmartin Property Group, the Edinburgh-based trader and investor, has confirmed a leap in profits last year from £1.4m to £6.4m and says it is on course for £7.5m in the current year to the end of April.

The group also appointed three new directors during the year. Group Head Iain Wotherspoon said: "My ambition is to get to £10m (profit). We have built a new team in Edinburgh with appointments, and we have opened in London with two resident directors. They have got a £100m development programme and the company has got £1.5bn of developments including joint ventures."

Kilmartin has more than trebled turnover to £103m in a year which saw a series of successful development ventures in the retail sector. The group has acquired what it says are "a number of new strategic assets which will become the key profit generators for the coming two to three years".

The Scotsman hotel is sold for £63m

THE flagship hotel based in the former offices of The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh has been sold to a billionaire Saudi businessman for £63 million. Mohamed Bin Issa al-Jaber multinational MBI International group is valued at £2 billion.

An MBI spokesman confirmed that the group intends to use the Scotsman's model as the basis of a new trans-European hotel brand, starting with ongoing £32 million refurbishment of its London property the Berners Hotel.

A spokesman for the Scotsman hotel called the purchase a "new dawn" for the group, which also includes the upmarket hotels 42 The Calls in Leeds and La Tremoillé in Paris.

The Scotsman hotel is popular with business travellers and well-heeled leisure users which is reflected in high occupancy rates and a string of industry awards. Its restaurant, the Vermillion, has won two AA rosettes.

Richard Brook, group chief financial director for MBI International, said: "Sheikh Mohamed is very excited about the Scotsman and we have high expectations of taking the group on to greater things. This transaction puts the group firmly on its feet."