Business news in brief: Quayle Munro | Equator | Baillie Gifford | Regenersis

MERCHANT Bank Quayle Munro, which last year sold its Edinburgh operation, swung back into the black during the first half of its financial year after advising on the sale of energy analysis specialist Wood Mackenzie to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman.

The Aim-quoted investment adviser posted a pre-tax profit of £727,000 for the six months to 31 December, compared with a loss of £390,000 in the first-half of the previous year, after selling its Edinburgh-based project advisory business to its management team. Quayle Munro has retained a 30 per cent stake in the spin-out firm.

Equator expands its horizons overseas

Marketing agency Equator has opened offices in the Ukraine and US as part of an “aggressive” expansion plan.

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The firm counts Axa and Disney among its clients and employs almost 100 people at its Glasgow headquarters. It plans to have 15 people in place at its Manhattan office by the end of this year, rising to around 70 by 2016, and will also employ seven staff at its web development base in Kiev.

Equator managing director John McLeish said: “After 14 years in Glasgow, we are hugely excited about becoming a truly global agency.”

Baillie Gifford trims charges on trusts

Fund manager Baillie Gifford is to reduce the charges on a range of its investment trusts to make them more competitive.

The Edinburgh-based firm said the move follows the retail distribution review (RDR), which banned commission payments to financial advisers at the start of the year.

Its Japan, Pacific Horizon and Shin Nippon trusts currently charge 1 per cent a year, while its Edinburgh Worldwide trust charges 0.8 per cent plus fees. From 1 April, the four trusts will charge 0.95 per cent a year on assets up to £50 million, and 0.65 per cent above this level.

Strong growth at gadget repair firm

REGENERSIS, the gadget repair firm which employs about 800 staff at sites at Glenrothes and Inchinnan, yesterday reported strong growth in sales and profits.

Interim results for the six months to 31 December saw sales increase by 29 per cent to £90.2 million with pre-tax profits up 7 per cent to £3.2m.

It said current trading was in line with market expectations and that opportunities for growth both organically and by acquisition remained strong. Regenersis repairs gadgets for companies including HTC, John Lewis and Samsung.