Reuters logo
PRESS DIGEST-Australian Business News - March 1
2012年2月29日 / 晚上7点49分 / 6 年前

PRESS DIGEST-Australian Business News - March 1

Mar 1 (Reuters) - Compiled for Reuters by Media Monitors. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.


Richard McIndoe, chief executive of energy retailer TRUenergy, yesterday announced that the company would “definitely look” at the next round of power assets being sold off in New South Wales’ second round of privatisations. Mr McIndoe added that the company’s desire for more assets would force the retailer to investigate “other capital raising options”, which could include a possible listing of the A$9 billion company. Page 29. --

Jim Walker, chief executive of earthmoving and mining equipment firm WesTrac, yesterday played down predictions that the company’s Chinese division could soon dwarf the Australian business. “Just with the way Australia’s grown in the past 12 months, it’s hard to see  with the installed population that we’ve got in Australia, because you’ve got that base, the product support and parts and service sales side just keeps powering ahead,” Mr Walker said. Page 31. --

John Grill, chief executive of professional services firm WorleyParsons, yesterday declared that “projects around the world are taking longer and costing more”. The remark came as the company announced a 88 percent jump in earnings before interest and tax to A$65.7 million for the first half of the 2011-12 financial year. “People are resetting their cost expectations and schedule expectations and hopefully they’re going to be more accurate in the future,” Mr Grill added. Page 31. --

The former chief executive of discount retailer Target, Laura Inman, yesterday was hired to conduct a review of Billabong International’s strategy, although the consultant declined to accept a position on the street and surf wear retailer’s board. Grant Oshry, fund manager at Perennial Value Management, Billabong’s largest institutional shareholder, said Ms Inman would have been a crucial addition to the board given her retail experience. Page 32. --


Media mogul James Packer’s Crown Ltd yesterday declared that it was not a substantial shareholder in Echo Entertainment, despite acquiring 10 percent of the rival casino group. Ken Barton, chief financial office for Crown, said the company was “not a substantial holder of Echo for the purposes of the Corporations Act and therefore has no obligation to lodge a notice”. Observers say this means Crown has not taken control of the 10 percent of Echo from Deutsche Bank, the investment bank believed to be the current owners of the shareholding. Page 19. --

Furniture and white goods retailer Harvey Norman yesterday announced a 2.1 percent drop in net profit to A$128.95 million for the first half of the 2011-12 year. Chairman Gerry Harvey said the company was suffering from a trading environment that was continuing to deteriorate. “We have more stores losing money than ever before - we’ve had to subsidise them,” Mr Harvey noted. Page 19. --

A report filed by a Parliamentary Joint Committee yesterday said the Federal Government had not sufficiently evaluated the effects of its Future of Financial Advice reforms. The legislation was created after thousands of Australian investors lost money after receiving poor advice from financial groups such as Storm Financial. However, the report said “while regulatory impact statements were prepared for the other reforms they were not assessed as being adequate for the decision-making stage”. Page 19. --

The local electricity and gas sector is lobbying the Federal Government not to establish a national energy savings program that will levy additional regulations on energy retailers. Industry has complained that the government’s climate change policies are already cumbersome enough, with the Energy Supply Association of Australia lobby group saying that the government should attempt to control peak demand to lower energy costs instead. Page 19. --


Gerry Harvey, chairman of electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman, yesterday said there would be more redundancies and businesses collapsing unless the economy could resume growing and consumers began frequenting shopping centres instead of paying off their credit card debts. The remark came as Harvey Norman posted a 6 percent drop in sales yesterday, along with a marginal fall in its interim profit. “If you are in technology, which is audio-visual and computers, you are getting a hiding,” Mr Harvey said. Page B1. --

When the head of diversified insurer Suncorp, Patrick Snowball, last week announced a 74 percent increase in interim profit last week, he described it as “the worst year that any of us can experience”. Observers say the sentiment has been echoed by many companies this reporting season. Industrial firms and manufacturers are continuing to struggle under the value of the Australian dollar, while media groups and retailers are suffering from a cyclical downturn and the effects of consumption and shopping over the internet. Page B1. --

Mark Korda from insolvency specialists KordaMentha yesterday told around 70 creditors of Air Australia that they should not expect to recoup much, if any, money from the failed airline. According to Mr Korda, the sale of the collapsed airline’s assets was not expected to deliver a large return, given that the company had leased everything from its fleet to its premises. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the main creditor to Air Australia, is expected to have more than A$20 million in losses. Page B3. --

Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has revealed that in-house corporate and not-for-profit funds were the highest-performing superannuation funds in the country between 2007 and 2011. According to the figures, the best two funds were CBH Superannuation and the Goldman Sachs JB Were staff fund with returns of 7.1 percent and 5.2 percent respectively. Catholic Superannuation was the best performing industry scheme, with an average return of 4.1 percent over 5 years. Page B3. --


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission yesterday called on listed companies to provide more details about how executive salaries were calculated, despite fewer shareholder votes against remuneration reports in the recent reporting season. “The real issue is it’s far more than ordinary working people earn, and so people, be they shareholders or for that matter staff, need to understand the justification for such handsome rewards,” Belinda Gibson, deputy chairman of the corporate regulator, said. Page B3. --

PricewaterhouseCoopers today will reveal that 30 percent of local businesses surveyed reported an incident of cyber crime over the last year, as part of the professional services firm’s latest report into global economic crime. Out of the 70 Australian companies surveyed, 16 percent lost more than A$5 million to economic crime over the last 12 months, with more than half losing more than A$500,000. Page B3. --

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission yesterday indicated that the price of plastic bottles may rise as part of a co-ordinated effort by the Pratt family if plastic packaging firm Visy is allowed to acquire a rival manufacturer. The declaration reignites tensions between the billionaire firm and Visy, after the regulator laid criminal charges against Richard Pratt three years ago for giving misleading and false evidence over a cardboard box price-fixing cartel with Amcor. Page B3. --

As many as 32 shooting incidents have occurred in nearly as many months at global miner Rio Tinto and copper producer Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold’s joint venture in Indonesia, according to the latter. The United States-based firm yesterday announced that 56 people had been injured and 15 more were killed in the attacks since July 2009. “The identity of the perpetrators is unknown as is the motivation for the shootings,” Freeport said yesterday. Page B5.

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below