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The Bottom Line: Herald Business Diary

Sweater strife

Sweater strife

IF you were hoping that the ironic Christmas jumper phenomenon might finally be coming to an end this year, you are sadly mistaken.

Sainsbury's has upped the ante by unveiling a particularly gaudy take on the trend at its recent annual general meeting.

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The jumper will feature a suitably colourful Christmas tree but with the added touch of real flashing lights. These can be switched on with a handy little remote sewn into the lining, although staff at the AGM spent quite some time trying to get the fiddly controls to work.

No wonder they said the creation has been a "technical nightmare" to produce.

Perfect timing

BUSINESS journalists looking for insight into Craneware's latest sales performance from the software firm's analyst at house broker Peel Hunt were out of luck this week.

"Unfortunately she is away in Disney just now!" laughed Craneware chief executive Keith Neilson. "You can't choose your timing unfortunately." Having this week announced a record rise in contract wins in its latest financial year, it was no surprise to find Mr Neilson relaxed about the analyst's absence.

Pedal power

THERE will have been a few stiff legs at Skypark in Glasgow this week after ten staff successfully completed a 310-mile bike ride for charity at the weekend.

The cyclists' endeavours have so far raised more than £4,000 - well above their target of £2,700 - with the money going to Wide Horizons. The charity helps children from urban areas enjoy outdoor learning experiences.

The challenge saw the group get under way at Skypark in Finnieston on Saturday morning and finished in Aberdeen on Monday evening, having reached the Granite City via Inverness.

Team member Mark Holmes, asset manager at Skypark joint owner Moorfield Group, said: "It's important we give opportunities to get outdoors to children who don't normally have the chance."

Bus revival

DAVID Redgewell, a FirstGroup shareholder, is a highly knowledgeable member of TravelWatch in the group's south-west of England heartland. He told yesterday's annual meeting he was "amazed" at the FirstGroup bus renaissance in the region. "We have volume growth - we have got middle-class people on our buses. You can't rely on the lame, the poor and the sick to build a bus business."

Mr Redgewell is wheelchair-bound and travels by public transport from Somerset to Aberdeen for the meeting every year.

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