There has been plenty to digest on the Scottish corporate front in recent days, amid the General Election drama which saw Labour win power with the expected big majority.

We had the latest chapter in the takeover saga featuring Aberdeen-based oil services company Wood.

The fate of Wood remains uncertain after the deadline for a Middle Eastern suitor to make a firm bid was extended last week.

Wood announced on Wednesday that Dubai-based Sidara had been given another four weeks to decide whether to commit to a bid that would value the Scottish group at around £1.6 billion.

Sidara had been due to decide by 5pm on Wednesday whether to make a firm offer at 230p per share or walk away.

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Wood directors rebuffed three previous approaches made by Sidara at lower prices, which they said undervalued the business.

The deadline for the submission of an offer at 230p per share has been extended until 5pm on July 31 with the agreement of Wood directors and City of London regulators.

Wood agreed to the extension of the “put up or shut up” deadline after Sidara said it needed more time to complete due diligence work on the Aberdeen-based company, for decades a stalwart of Scotland’s publicly quoted company scene.

The extension leaves employees and other stakeholders in Wood facing an anxious wait after weeks of uncertainty, business writer Mark Williamson reported in The Herald.

His article highlighted the fact that Wood is an important employer in Scotland. The group employs around 4,500 people in Aberdeen and its North Sea operations. It has a 35,000-strong global workforce.

On a more positive note, from the perspective of corporate Scotland, Glasgow-based Scotch whisky giant Edrington unveiled another impressive set of results last week.

Edrington, which has famous brands including The Macallan and Highland Park single malts, posted a 6% rise in underlying annual pre-tax profits to £411 million as core revenues jumped 11% to £1.165 billion.

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Core contribution, defined by Edrington as profits from its branded sales and distribution after the deduction of overheads on a constant-currency basis, rose by 16% to £454.8m in the year to March.

Chief executive Scott McCroskie voiced his belief that Edrington’s results for the period were “among the best in the spirits industry”. However, mulling the outlook, he highlighted his expectations that demand would be adversely affected by economic pressures seen in the second half of the financial year to March 2024.

In spite of these emerging pressures, he underlined Edrington’s commitment to continue with major investment in its brands.

Edrington employs about 3,300 people, with slightly more than half of its workforce based outside the UK. The UK workforce is predominantly in Scotland where, like Wood, the distiller is a very important employer.

Mr McCroskie said: “Edrington has navigated a challenging year to deliver financial results that are among the best in the spirits industry. Our strategy of focusing on ultra-premium spirits continues to deliver healthy brands and a strong underlying performance.”

However, he added: “We consider that the economic pressures that we saw in the second half of last year will adversely affect demand. While we will continue to invest in our brands, in our operations and in sustainability, the business is planning for the coming year on the basis of lower levels of growth than we have experienced since the end of the pandemic.”

Detailing the challenges, Mr McCroskie said: “The year was one of two halves - an exceptionally strong first six months followed by a much slower second half. The changing dynamic was driven primarily by weaker demand as consumer confidence and spending power declined in response to rising prices and interest rates in many countries, as well as uncertainty about the future caused by a range of issues including conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East. The impact was exacerbated by trade destocking to meet the lower level of demand and to mitigate the higher cost of financing inventories.”

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However, he added: “Despite these challenges, Edrington achieved 11% growth in core revenue and a 16% increase in core contribution over the previous year. The higher rate of growth in core contribution reflects an increasing proportion of sales from higher value, more profitable products in line with our strategy.

“This year’s results continue a trend of strong growth, with Edrington increasing its core contribution by 87% over four years from 2019/20, despite doubling our brand investment in the same period. This achievement reflects the success of our ultra-premium strategy, and especially of The Macallan.”

Edrington’s progress over the four-year period highlighted by Mr McCroskie is impressive, as indeed is the group’s success over recent decades.

This success has enabled Edrington’s owner, the charitable Robertson Trust, to give many, many millions of pounds to good causes.

It is an unconventional ownership structure but it is one that has enabled Edrington, through a long-term approach and of course with major and astute strategic moves made at the right time including the pivotal acquisition of Highland Distillers back in 1999, to grow into a global spirits business of real scale.

My column in The Herald on Friday observed: “Mr McCroskie highlights the success of Edrington’s clear strategy of ultra-premium positioning. This has been a long-term strategy, pursued patiently, and it is clearly one that has paid off. It is a refreshing change from some of the headless chicken, chopping and changing that you see in some companies in which there is almost a reaction of panic to whatever challenge comes along.”

In these difficult times, it is an inspiring tale.