Manweb employees flee Scottish takeover

Electricity: New owner sees staff exodus as bonus as it looks to expand on back of profits growth

MARY FAGAN

Industrial Correspondent

About 850 Manweb employees left the company in the run-up to the pounds 1.1bn takeover last month by Scottish Power. Ian Robinson, chief executive of the Scottish group, said he viewed the exodus, part of Manweb's "scorched earth" defence policy as a "surprise" and "bonus".

Mr Robinson said that about 30 more people had left Manweb in the few weeks since the Scottish group moved in but that he had no feeling yet for how many more might go. Scottish Power plans to wait until January before making a statement on the integration of the firm into the enlarged group, and on how the Manweb business will be moved forward.

Mr Robinson also said that Scottish Power would cut 350 jobs in its own core operations over the next 12 months as a result of reorganisation, in addition to 140 people who left in the first half of the year.

In the six months to 30 September, Scottish Power made a pre-tax profit of pounds 128m, up 3.9 per cent over the same period last year. Earnings per share rose by 3.8 per cent to 11.4p and the interim dividend increased by 13.6 per cent to 5.17p per share. The company confirmed earlier projections of a full-year dividend of 15.5p.

Scottish Power will continue its drive outside its core electricity operations in areas that include gas, retail and telecommunications. It plans to launch a full public telephone service in Scotland next year, undercutting BT prices for domestic customers by up to 15 per cent. Scottish Power already has 80 business customers for its fledgling communications arm and has invested pounds 35m in a fibre-optic network in the region. Mr Robinson is aiming for a 15 per cent share of the Scottish market in eight or nine years.

The retail operation doubled its profit to pounds 4m in the first half on turnover up by 29 per cent. Mr Robinson said the group continued to look for retail expansion opportunities north and south of the border and envisaged adding up to 40 stores over the next five years to its national network of 159.

Scottish Power is pursuing the gas retailing business, with 6,000 customer sites in England, Scotland and Wales. It plans to offer domestic gas supplies in Scotland when the market is fully opened in 1998, but will not take part in next year's pilot in the south-west of England.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
This weekend's 'Big Hero 6' by Disney Animation Studios
arts + ents
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee