Scottish small-ship cruising company the Majestic Line has announced that it intends to start cruising again from August 29.

The company will only sail with two of their four vessel fleet and will be operating cruises with a reduced number of guests onboard.    

Working within Scottish Government guidelines and having completed the VisitScotland "Good to Go" accreditation the company believes that it is "now in a position to offer guests the opportunity to cruise the Scottish Islands with confidence".

The Majestic Line’s ability to cruise at the time will be subject to Scottish Government guidance.

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A number of protocols have been put in place to ensure the safety of guests and crew "with minimum impact on enjoyment".

The Dunoon-based company will be running two of its most popular cruises Mull and Her Inlets and Islands and Skye and the Inner Hebrides and one-off cruises Captain’s Choice and Isles of the Clyde and the Southern Hebrides.

Ken Grant, Majestic Line managing director, said: "We have many guests who are very keen to cruise with us this year, and having looked long and hard at the options and how best we can confidently offer a cruise experience that is enjoyable and safe we feel that we are now in a position to cruise safely once again."

Among the  additional protocols being implemented are weekly testing of crew to ensure they are Covid-free, temperature checking of all crew and passengers, increased daily cleaning and sanitisation or all public areas and prior to boarding all guests will be required to confirm that they are symptom free and have not been in contact with anyone known to have the virus.

Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Marmite giant Unilever has cheered its "resilience" as it posted higher half-year profits after a better-than-feared sales performance amid the coronavirus crisis.

The consumer goods group reported a 4% hike in pre-tax profits to 4.5 billion euros (£3.5 billion) for the first half of 2020.

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It saw underlying sales fall 0.1% in the six months of 2020 and by 0.3% in the second quarter - far short of its 3% to 5% growth target, but better than most analysts had expected, given the impact of lockdowns globally on consumer demand.

Alan Jope, chief executive of Unilever, said the results "demonstrated the resilience of the business".

Unilever confirmed that after a review of its tea business launched in January, it had decided to keep the operations in India and Indonesia as well as partnership interests in ready-to-drink tea joint ventures, but would spin off the remainder by the end of 2021.

It said: "The balance of Unilever's tea brands and geographies and all tea estates have an exciting future, and this potential can best be achieved as a separate entity."

The group's tea business includes household brands PG Tips, Lipton and Brooke Bond.

The results come after Unilever said in June it would call time on its dual Anglo-Dutch structure in favour of a single base in London to give it "greater strategic flexibility".

The move will see it ditch its legal base in the Netherlands, with London instead becoming the single site for its legal and corporate headquarters - a decision that came less than two years after an ill-fated plan to move to the Netherlands.

Unilever's half-year results showed the shift in consumer buying during the pandemic, with surging sales for personal hygiene products and groceries during lockdown, but tumbling demand for products normally sold at restaurants and outdoor venues.

It said sales grew by mid-single digits in the UK as demand for home eating and hygiene products offset the woes in out-of-home categories.

Unilever said: "In North America and parts of Europe there was a positive impact from household stocking in March.

"Consumption patterns then normalised in the second quarter with heightened levels of demand for hygiene and in home food products."

The publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday has revealed it swung to a loss during the coronavirus lockdown, but said its newspaper arm returned to profit last month.

Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), which also owns the Metro and i newspapers and a raft of other businesses, sank to underlying operating losses of £2 million for the three months to June 30, against profits of £22 million a year earlier.

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For the nine months of its year so far, it saw underlying operating profits slump 44% to £63 million after the third-quarter hit as advertising revenues and newspaper sales were hammered during the lockdown.

But it said the newspaper division and all businesses, except for its events arm, were profitable in June, helping shares lift 2%.

Its update showed the toll taken on the industry by the lockdown, with newspaper advertising plummeting 69% in its third quarter to June 30 and digital ad revenues off 17%.

This left total underlying ad revenues down 45% in the quarter and 12% lower over the nine months.

Circulation fell 12% in the third quarter, it added.

The Metro free paper was particularly badly hit by the lockdown, with circulation around a quarter of its usual level, given that it is largely distributed on public transport.

DMGT said: "Since March, the impact of Covid-19 has resulted in a pronounced reduction in advertising revenues across both print and digital formats.

"Growth in online traffic has helped to mitigate the impact on digital but not enough to compensate for the overall reduction in advertising spend."

Overall group underlying revenues fell 23% in the quarter to June and were 7% lower over the nine months.

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