Experts warn for tough year for drinks giant Diageo

By Oliver Farrimond

CITY experts have warned that Scots drink giant Diageo could be “walking through treacle” over the next year.

Analysts have warned that mounting unemployment figures could lead to a dramatic drop in bar sales of the group’s flagship products.

Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff and Guinness, are planning to raise the prices of their American products to counteract the bleak forecast.

Analysts at financial advisory group Collins Stewart said: “A resurgence in Diageo profit growth is dependent upon a healthier on-trade in markets where unemployment remains stubbornly high.” Continue reading

Sir Robin blasts SFA for no Team GB

By Cara Sulieman

THE SCOTS-BORN mayor of the London borough hosting the 2012 Olympics has blasted the SFA for blocking a British football team.

Sir Robin Wales is furious that there won’t be a UK team taking part in the football tournament saying it would be the only way for Scotland to “be in with a chance of qualifying for something”.

The Kilmarnock supporter is the civic head of Newham, where most of the Olympics main venues are based, including the athletes’ village.

Speaking about the decision to only have English players in the British team, the 55-year-old said: “It may not be popular with everyone but why not have a British football team?

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Biffy Clyro hope to play T in the Park

By Cara Sulieman

SCOTTISH band Biffy Clyro told excited fans they hoped to play T in the Park as they signed copies of their new single at HMV in Edinburgh yesterday (Tues).

Cameron Grady, 18, from Penicuik asked guitarist Simon Neil if they were planning on playing any festivals, and was told that the trio hoped to perform on stage at Balado.

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Vile child rapist is banned from the roads

By Michael MacLeod

AN evil child rapist twice slipped through cops’ fingers during a near decade-long reign of abuse when he was caught drink driving.

Vile Mutasim Al Mutasim, 35, was caught drunk behind the wheel of his car twice in the midst of horror attacks on primary school children.

He was stopped first in September 2006 at the capital’s Duddingston Road West and later again January 2007 at Hay Avenue, where cops found him well over three times the drink-drive limit.

But police said last night they had no way of knowing he and his brother, Eldirdeery, 24, were sexually abusing girls as young as five.

It wasn’t until April 2008 that detectives snared the Sudanese dish-washer for horrific child sex offences which were described by one judge as “beyond the understanding of a caring and civilised society”.
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Distillery’s £7million bid to return to former glory

L_Res2By Rory Reynolds

SINGLE malt whisky brand GlenDronach is to receive massive investment to restore the distillery to its former glory.

Owners BenRiach are to splash out £7million on the former giant – which was in the top five for global whisky sales 40 years ago.

The distillery – situated near Huntly, in Speyside – is hoping to boost its fortunes from an expected 150,000 bottles this year to 250,000 by 2014.

The move at GlenDronach will see £5million spent on high quality sherry casks, along with £2million for promotions, advertising and extra staff.

It has already rocketed in popularity since BenRiach took over last year, when GlenDronach was selling fewer than 20,000 bottles a year. Continue reading

Battle to save Johnnie Walker plant goes to Holyrood

By Oliver Farrimond

THE BATTLE to save hundreds of jobs at one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries entered was stepped up tonight as MSPs backed by workers took their fight to Holyrood.

Despite announcing profits of almost £2bn for the last year, drinks giant Diageo plans to axe 700 jobs at its Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock as part of a 900 job cull.

Angry workers from the plant travelled to the Scottish Parliament, along with the whisky band’s iconic ‘Striding Man’ and the Johnnie Walker girls.

Gina McCurry, 52, has worked as a forklift driver at the Kilmarnock factory for 10 years, and said that the decision would “devastate” countless families.

She said: “Before this happened on 1 July I would have said that Diageo are great to work for, with excellent terms and conditions and family values.

“However since then it’s been a hammer blow to people of Kilmarnock and of Ayrshire.” Continue reading

Nurse cautioned for disconnecting patients buzzer


By Lauren Crooks

A NURSE who disabled her patients’ emergency alarms has avoided being struck from the register.

Anne Facchini, 54, disconnected the call buzzers in the rooms of two elderly disabled residents in separate Ayrshire care homes.

One wheelchair-bound woman was forced to wet the bed as a result, leaving her “distressed, upset and humiliated”.

And another had to scream to care assistants for help because her monitor wouldn’t work.

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