Financial News from AAP

  • Cheap airfares cloud Flight Centre outlook AAP - 3 minutes 5 seconds ago
    Cheap airfares cloud Flight Centre outlook

    Rivalry for cheaper airfare prices has clipped the wings of Australia's biggest travel agency with Flight Centre suffering a 36 per cent drop in half-year profit. Despite record ticket sales in Australia - where volume outpaced market growth and total transaction value (TTV) topped $5 billion for the first time - net profit for the six months to December 31 fell to $74.4 million. Revenue was down slightly, by 0.6 per cent to $1.25 billion, for the company which has outlets in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Britain, Europe and Asia servicing leisure and business travellers.

  • Fahour quits as Aust Post CEO AAP - 9 minutes ago
    Fahour quits as Aust Post CEO

    Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour has quit his position and will leave after seven years in the role and the recent public criticism of his $5.6 million pay packet. Mr Fahour tendered his resignation to the board of Australia Post on Wednesday - a day before delivering a $131 million half-year profit for the transformed postal service - and will leave his job in July. The surprise announcement follows controversy earlier this month over Mr Fahour's substantial salary package, which was revealed at a parliamentary committee after Australia Post sought to keep it confidential.

  • Crown CEO Craigie to step down AAP - 15 minutes ago
    Crown CEO Craigie to step down

    Crown Resorts chief executive Rowen Craigie will step down from his role at the end of February, with executive chairman John Alexander taking on his responsibilities. Crown said in a statement on Thursday ...

  • Qantas is outperforming peers in Asia: CEO AAP - 17 minutes ago
    Qantas is outperforming peers in Asia: CEO

    Qantas boss Alan Joyce has defended the airline's financial performance, saying it is outperforming its peers across Asia amid fierce competition on international routes due to lower oil prices. Australia's biggest airline made more money than Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Virgin and Cathay Pacific combined, Mr Joyce said on Thursday as Qantas reported a 7.5 per cent drop in underlying profit to $852 million for the six months to December 31. Mr Joyce said the result was the third-best on record, thanks largely to Qantas's $2.1 billion restructuring program, which included thousands of staff being laid off.

  • "Golden arches" have Russian shine AAP - 29 minutes ago

    When McDonald's opened its first Russian restaurant in 1990 in Moscow, it was not unusual to see wedding receptions held there, so strong was the appeal of the quintessential American brand at the end of the Cold War. "We say it every time: we are a Russian company," Khamzat Khasbulatov, the head of McDonald's Russia, told Reuters. Nearly all the restaurant's suppliers are Russian and its executives are all Russian, Khasbulatov said in an interview.

  • Jobs impact of penalty rate cut queried AAP - 31 minutes ago

    Unions and employer groups say the decision to cut penalty rates will only have a modest, if any, impact on job creation. The Fair Work Commission on Thursday ordered a cut to penalty rates for hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers. The commission said in its decision there were likely to be "some positive employment effects" from the cut, but these effects were "likely to be reduced due to substitution and other effects".

  • Low property listings hit McGrath's profit AAP - 33 minutes ago

    Real estate agent McGrath's half year profit has plunged 72 per cent as property listings remain low and it works to replace a large number of agents that recently left the company. Net profit fell to $2.4 million in the six months to December 31, excluding the financial impacts of its share market listing in December 2015. McGrath warned in January that "unprecedented" low volumes of listings, partly due to a reluctance to sell because of affordability concerns, were not yet showing signs of improvement.

  • Iron ore not a licence to spend: Morrison AAP - 35 minutes ago

    Scott Morrison says you don't frame a budget around the fortunes of commodity prices and the recent rise in the iron price is not a licence to spend. In December's mid-year budget review Treasury assumed an iron ore price of $US68, easing to $US55 by the September quarter. Mr Morrison says if the price rise is sustained it would provide support for the budget.

  • Budget not framed on iron ore: Morrison AAP - 48 minutes ago

    Scott Morrison says you don't frame a budget around the fortunes of commodity prices and the recent rise in the iron price is not a licence to spend. The iron ore price struck its highest level since mid-2014 this week at over $US90 per tonne compared with Treasury's assumption of $US68 or lower in December's mid-year budget review, potentially adding billions of dollars of extra tax revenue to the budget bottom line if it is sustained.

  • Miners pull share market lower AAP - 1 hour 3 minutes ago

    The share market is lower due to significant falls by the big miners following a drop in commodity prices. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.3 per cent lower just after midday AEDT, a slight improvement ...

  • Crown in the dark over China detentions AAP - 1 hour 8 minutes ago
    Crown in the dark over China detentions

    Casinos operator Crown Resorts is still waiting to find out what its detained employees in China are accused of doing wrong. Recently-appointed executive chairman John Alexander says legal processes are under way, but Crown knows little more. "Obviously, there are legal processes under way, and we are awaiting clarification on that," he told reporters on Thursday.

  • Average weekly earnings up two percent AAP - 1 hour 10 minutes ago

    Australia's full-time wages rose 2.2 per cent over the year to November on average, latest figures show. Average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) for adult full-time workers was $1,533.40 in the month, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The average wage in November was $1,369.70 for women - up 3.2 per cent over the year - and $1,631 for men - up 1.8 per cent.

  • Sunday, public holiday pay rates cut AAP - 1 hour 12 minutes ago
    Sunday, public holiday pay rates cut

    Sunday penalty rates will be slashed for Australia's hospitality, retail, pharmacy and fast food workers, the Fair Work Commission has ruled. Public holiday rates will also be cut for hospitality and retail sector employees, from 250 per cent to 225 per cent. The commission took into account evidence from the Productivity Commission that said a reduction in penalty rates could lead to more employment.

  • Qantas is outperfoming peers in Asia- CEO AAP - 1 hour 15 minutes ago
    Qantas is outperfoming peers in Asia- CEO

    Qantas boss Alan Joyce has defended the airline's financial performance, saying it is outperforming its peers across Asia amid fierce competition on international routes due to lower oil prices. Australia's biggest airline made more money than Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Virgin and Cathay Pacific combined, Mr Joyce said on Thursday as Qantas reported a 7.5 per cent drop in underlying profit to $852 million for the six months to December 31. Mr Joyce said the result was the third-best on record, thanks largely to Qantas's $2.1 billion restructuring program, which included thousands of staff being laid off.

  • ASC workers in SA resume industrial action AAP - 1 hour 17 minutes ago

    Submarine workers for government shipbuilder ASC in Adelaide are again taking strike action over stalled enterprise agreement negotiations. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union SA says night workers ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 1 hour 19 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange: AAD - ARDENT LEISURE - down 52 cents, or 24.1 per cent, at $1.64 Ardent Leisure has suffered an almost $50 million first-half loss after writing down the ...

  • Online retailer Kogan beats forecasts AAP - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    Online retailer Kogan.com has exceeded its forecasts for annual profit in just six months as its revenue was boosted the popularity of its privately own brands. The company made a net profit of $3.7 million in the six months to December 31, well above its forecast of $2.5 million for the year to June 30, after excluding costs related to the company's share market listing in July. Its earnings of $7.3 million were above its original full year forecast of $6.9 million, and Kogan's new full-year earnings forecast is between $10.5 million and $11.5 million.

  • Senegal waste pickers fight dump closure AAP - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    At the top of a hill in the heart of Senegal's largest rubbish dump, 47-year-old Didou Farai watched as hundreds of workers armed with metal rods picked through piles of waste in search of recyclable materials to sell. Despite dire conditions, deadly accidents and toxic air, Mbeubeuss, a sprawling landfill in a suburb of Dakar, is a lifeline for thousands like Farai - allowing them to make a modest living in a country where one in eight are unemployed. "If they close it I'm afraid I'll no longer be able to earn a living," Farai told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

  • Tesla reports loss but Model 3 on target AAP - 1 hour 29 minutes ago
    Tesla reports loss but Model 3 on target

    Unable to string together profitable quarters, electric car and solar cell maker Tesla has reported a loss for the last three months of 2016. Tesla posted its first profit in three years in 2016's third quarter and had predicted net income in the fourth. Without one-time items, Tesla lost 69 cents a share.

  • Iluka slides to $224m loss AAP - 1 hour 38 minutes ago

    Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources has slid to a full-year loss of $224 million on the back of hefty writedowns related to a restructuring of the company's business amid the downturn. The loss was within the $220 million to $230 million range the company had forecast in January, but sharply lower from the previous year's $53.5 million profit. It also cut 90 jobs and said it would reduce or close a number of exploration activities in an effort to cut costs.

  • Investment fell 2.1% in Dec quarter AAP - 1 hour 44 minutes ago
    Investment fell 2.1% in Dec quarter

    Business investment fell by 2.1 per cent in the December quarter, which missed market forecasts of a 0.5 per cent fall. Investment in capital goods, including buildings, structures, machinery and equipment was $27.57 billion in the quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Businesses collectively expect to invest $112.15 billion on capital goods by the end of the 2016/17 financial year, which is nine per cent lower than the same estimate made for the previous year.

  • Nine move lifts Southern Cross profit 12% AAP - 2 hours 2 minutes ago
    Nine move lifts Southern Cross profit 12%

    Southern Cross Austereo has lifted its first-half profit 11.8 per cent to $48.5 million after a big rise in regional revenue thanks to its affiliate switch to Nine. "These results demonstrate the depth and strength of a diverse media company that is outperforming the market in each of its categories," chief executive Grant Blackley said. Southern Cross said full-year operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are forecast to be at the lower end of its $177 million to $183 million guidance range.

  • Retail Food Group HY profit up AAP - 2 hours 3 minutes ago

    Gloria Jean's Coffees owner the Retail Food Group has lifted first-half profit by 17.3 per cent to $33.5 million, thanks to sales growth from its cafes and bakeries, and to strong earnings from its latest ...

  • Sunday, holiday penalty rates to be slashed AAP - 2 hours 7 minutes ago
    Sunday, holiday penalty rates to be slashed

    Sunday penalty rates will be cut for hospitality, retail and fast food employees, the Fair Work Commission has announced. Public holiday rates will also be cut for full-time employees from 250 per cent to 225 per cent. The Fair Work Commission has agreed with the Productivity Commission's argument that there are likely to be some "positive" employment effects from a reduction in penalty rates.

  • Dreamworld drags Ardent to $50m loss AAP - 2 hours 9 minutes ago
    Dreamworld drags Ardent to $50m loss

    Ardent Leisure has suffered an almost $50 million first-half loss after writing down the value of its Dreamworld business by more than $90 million following a slump in visitor numbers after last year's fatal accident. The disappointing result follows a $93.6 million writedown to the value of Dreamworld's property and equipment in the wake of last October's accident which killed four people. Ardent's theme park's business, which also includes the adjacent Whitewater World, recorded a $16.6 million slump in its first-half revenue to $41.8 million as the Gold Coast parks and their rides were closed after two men and two women died when a raft flipped on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

  • Crown share buyback, hotel float ditched AAP - 2 hours 20 minutes ago
    Crown share buyback, hotel float ditched

    Casinos operator Crown Resorts will buy back about $500 million of its shares and has decided not to proceed with a partial float of some of its Australian hotels and associated properties. Crown on Thursday posted a $359.1 million first-half net profit and announced long-term CEO Rowen Craigie would step down, with executive chairman John Alexander to take over his duties as part of a simplified structure. The company's first-half net profit was up 75.2 per cent, boosted by $176.3 million gain from one-off items, most of which came from the sale of shares in Crown's joint-venture in Macau, Melco Crown Entertainment.

  • Sunday penalty rates cut: Fair Work AAP - 2 hours 25 minutes ago
    Sunday penalty rates cut: Fair Work

    Sunday penalty rates will be cut for employees in the hospitality, retail and fast food sectors, the Fair Work Commission announced on Thursday.

  • Little hope for Nigerian industries AAP - 2 hours 29 minutes ago

    Talba Goni has been trying without luck to get government funds or loans to restart a textile plant in Kaduna, the former industrial heartland in northern Nigeria, that he was running until it closed almost 15 years ago. President Muhammadu Buhari hopes to revive the once flourishing textile and leather industries in northern Nigeria to end the country's dependence on oil exports and diversify Africa's biggest economy.

  • Fare discounts cloud Flight Centre outlook AAP - 2 hours 30 minutes ago
    Fare discounts cloud Flight Centre outlook

    Flight Centre has cut its full-year profit guidance after suffering a 36 per cent fall in half-year net profit as "unprecedented" airfare discounting, economic uncertainty and foreign exchange ...

  • Profit-taking weighs on Aust share market AAP - 2 hours 34 minutes ago

    Investors taking profits amid corporate earnings season and lower commodity prices are weighing on Australian shares. At 1053 AEDT on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.54 per cent lower, dragged ...

  • Crown HY profit up amid tough conditions AAP - 2 hours 40 minutes ago
    Crown HY profit up amid tough conditions

    Gambling giant Crown Resorts has lifted headline first-half profit 75 per cent to $359.1 million, boosted by $167m in gains from its Melco selldown but Australian revenue has fallen amid tough trading ...

  • Help for bottlers after Coke shuts plant AAP - 3 hours ago
    Help for bottlers after Coke shuts plant

    Staff at Coca-Cola's bottling plant in Adelaide who have been told their jobs will be gone within two years will be able to access services to help plan their futures, the South Australian government says. Premier Jay Weatherill says about $2500 will be spent on career transition and financial planning for each of the 180 workers. Workshops will start in March and a transition centre, similar to that set up for Holden workers preparing for the closure of the company's Adelaide factory, will open in April.

  • Aust share market opens lower AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian share market is lower at the open after a mixed bag of corporate earnings results. At 1010 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 23.5 ponts, or 0.4 per cent at 5781.6 points, while the ...

  • Another budget built on shifting sands AAP - 3 hours ago

    Gyrations in the iron ore price can make a treasurer look like an economic wizard or somebody fumbling for an excuse. While pundits try to guess what might be in the May budget and what it will mean for a future surplus, the great unknown in recent history has been commodity prices. Howard government treasurer Peter Costello enjoyed the fruits of the pre-global financial crisis mining boom as China began its urbanisation program.

  • TV writedown drags Nine to $236.9m HY loss AAP - 3 hours ago
    TV writedown drags Nine to $236.9m HY loss

    Nine Entertainment has slipped to a first-half loss of $236.9 million after falling TV revenue and a big writedown against its free-to-air network. Nine said its ratings performance improved after the Olympics and that momentum had continued into 2017. The company cut its interim dividend from 8.0 cents to 4.5 cents as underlying earnings fell 6.4 per cent and pro-forma net profit - excluding significant items - fell 4.3 per cent to $75 million.