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Business IN BRIEF

Sep 4, 2007

THE Government were urged yesterday to keep factories for disabled workers in business by awarding them millions of pounds worth of contracts.

The GMB union said contracts to supply military and nurses' uniforms, which end soon, should be given to Remploy factories.

Union bosses are furious at Remploy's plans to shut 43 plants with the loss of more than 2000 jobs.

Phil Davies of the GMB said: "Remploy have struggled since the mid-90s when the Tory government insisted that contracts for uniforms for nurses and the forces, previously done by Remploy, should be put out to competitive tender.

"We now have the situation where pounds 50million of British Army uniforms are being madein China by a state-owned, subsided factory. Britain is the only country in Europe which allows its army uniforms to be made outside the country. It's crazy."

STAFF at insurance group Admiral are to get a pounds 3million shares windfall after a 26 per cent rise in half-year profits.

Around 2300 staff at the group - who own Admiral, Elephant and website - will benefit.

The Welsh firm had better than expected profits, pounds 86.3million compared with pounds 68.7million in the same period last year.

Customer numbers increased 16 per cent to 1.4million despite a challenging car insurance market, according to Admiral.

Net revenues from insurance premiums dipped slightly to pounds 74.9million from pounds 71.6million.

Soaring profits growth at helped drive the group's performance and offset weakness in the car insurance sector.

The website provided 7.1million quotes in the first half of the year, up from 4.1million in 2006.

STANDARD Life have axed 400 jobs since the launch of a major cost- cutting drive.

The life and pensions giants - who are trying to save pounds 100million a year by 2009 - revealed the figure yesterday as they unveiled better-than-expected half-year operating profits.

They were up 71per cent to pounds 353million.

Standard Life's shift to higher margin pension products is said to have driven the impressive hike.

Although 400 posts have been slashed, the Edinburgh company say they have hired an extra 147 staff in growing areas of the business since March.

Stockbroker Richard Hunter said Standard Life are "continuing to confound their doubters".

But the union Unite say the profits are thanks to the staff whose pensions were cut by Standard Life.

They are demanding the workers are rewarded.

(c) 2007 Daily Record; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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