Car production races ahead by 12%

Car production is accelerating ahead, driven by demand from Europe, according to the latest figures. A total of 142,158 cars were manufactured in the UK in March - a 12 per cent rise on the March 2013 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) said. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: "The 12 per cent growth in UK car production in March 2014 is a significant step forward after a period…

  • $A remains below 93 US cents AAP - 1 hour 8 minutes ago

    Weaker than expected inflation figures are continuing to weigh on the Australian dollar. The plunge came after official figures showed an annual inflation rate to March 31 of 2.9 per cent, lower than the market forecast of 3.2 per cent. Inflation above the Reserve Bank of Australia's two to three per cent target range would have raised hopes of an interest rate hike later in the year. At 1200 AEST on Thursday, the Australian dollar was trading at 92.95 US cents, up from 92.80 cents at the end of local trade on Wednesday.

  • Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down AAP - 1 hour 11 minutes ago
    Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

    Facebook's earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street's expectations thanks to an 82 per cent increase in advertising revenue. It was the fourth quarter in a row that Facebook beat forecasts as it continues to barrel ahead in mobile advertising at a time when nearly 80 per cent of its users are accessing it on smartphones and other portable gadgets. Facebook's revenue was $US2.5 billion, up 71 per cent from $US1.46 billion in the same period a year ago. Facebook shares climbed $US2.34, or 3.8 per cent, to $US63.71 in extended trading after the results came out.

  • Share market holds on to gains AAP - 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    The share market is standing firm at near six year highs despite weakness in global stock markets. Local shares spent the morning in positive territory despite a soft lead from Wall Street overnight and losses on Asian markets, CommSec market analyst Juliette Saly said. Better than expected earnings reports from Apple and Facebook after the close of trading in the US had helped boost investor sentiment.

  • Whitehaven cuts coal guidance AAP - 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    Whitehaven Coal shares have fallen after the miner cut its full year production guidance by up to eight per cent due to operational problems. Whitehaven shares were down 2.5 cents, or 1.6 per cent, at $1.58 at 1200 AEST. Whitehaven had some good news last week when the Commonwealth Department of the Environment found the company's biodiversity offsets package for its controversial flagship Maules Creek project complied with approval conditions.

  • Transurban expands into Qld for $7b AAP - 1 hour 41 minutes ago
    Transurban expands into Qld for $7b

    Toll roads operator Transurban has extended its reach into Queensland, acquiring a string of Brisbane motorways from the Queensland government for more than $7 billion. A consortium led by Transurban has agreed to buy Queensland Motorways, after beating other bidders with a $7.057 billion offer. Queensland Motorways owns a 70 kilometre network of tolled roads including the Go Between Bridge, CLEM7, Gateway and Logan motorways. Transurban holds a 62.5 per cent stake in the consortium and will operate the Brisbane network.

  • New Heathrow Terminal 2 set for opening AAP - 1 hour 46 minutes ago

    The rundown, overcrowded Terminal 2 at London's sprawling Heathrow Airport is long gone, about to be replaced by a spacious new building built to handle 20 million passengers each year. The new facility was hailed as a cornerstone of Heathrow's revitalization when shown to reporters on Wednesday ahead of the June 4 opening. Lead architect Luis Vidal said its extensive use of natural light and high quality acoustics should make it a calm space for travellers accustomed to high anxiety at dark, noisy airports.

  • Stocks to watch at noon on Thursday AAP - 1 hour 56 minutes ago

    Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at noon on Thursday: AGO - ATLAS IRON - up 4.25 cents, or 4.45 per cent, at 99.75 cents Western Australian iron ore producer Atlas Iron achieved record ...

  • Questions on bubble as tech momentum fades AAP - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    The wobbly action of 2014 is still an open question: is this a correction, bear market or a bubble like the catastrophic dot-com boom and bust of 1999-2000? "There are some astronomical valuations out there," says Roger Kay, an analyst who follows tech companies at Endpoint Technologies. Facebook's market value is close to $US150 billion ($A161.33 billion), despite its spending spree including an eye-popping $US19 billion for messaging service WhatsApp and $US2 billion for the virtual reality company Oculus Rift. Twitter shares have tumbled some 40 per cent since peaking last year, but the popular messaging platform still carries a valuation of $US25 billion, despite never having posted a profit.

  • Southern Cross Forest attracts foreign, local interest, … BusinessDesk - 2 hours 5 minutes ago

    Financially stricken wood processor Southern Cross Forest Products has attracted both local and international interest from potential buyers, and its receiver hopes to progress the sale next month. KordaMentha's Brendon Gibson today announced plans to shut the Dunedin-based company's Rosebank sawmill after a fire at its Mosgiel remanufacturing site cut its drying capacity, reducing the volume of timber it can process, and decided to wind down its unprofitable Australian distribution business. An information memorandum in the market for potential buyers has attracted a "mixture of both" local and foreign parties, though the strong New Zealand dollar and high log prices are a challenge for the export-focused business, Gibson told BusinessDesk. Southern Cross Forest Products had three mills in the South Island and one in Thames, and today's restructuring will result in 79 jobs being lost.

  • Transurban buys Qld Motorways for $7b AAP - 2 hours 27 minutes ago
    Transurban buys Qld Motorways for $7b

    A consortium led by toll road owner Transurban will pay $7 billion to buy a string of Brisbane motorways from the Queensland government. The consortium said it had signed an agreement to buy Queensland Motorways, which owns a 70km network of tolled roads, on Wednesday night after beating other bidders with a $7.057 billion offer. Transurban holds a 62.5 per cent stake in the consortium and will operate the Brisbane network, which includes the Go Between Bridge, CLEM7, Gateway and Logan motorways. Chief executive Scott Charlton said the motorways were high quality assets that would help grow earnings for shareholders.

  • Home price rises slow in March quarter AAP - 2 hours 34 minutes ago

    Australian Property Monitors reported slower growth in median house prices in the three months to March 31, compared with the previous three months. Free-standing capital city house prices rose by two per cent in the quarter, on average, while home unit prices were up by only 1.3 per cent.

  • Apple splitting stock as iPhone sales soar AAP - 3 hours ago
    Apple splitting stock as iPhone sales soar

    Apple has courted investors with stock split plans as hot iPhone sales pushed up profits while underscoring pressure for the company to unveil "the next big thing". Apple shares on Wednesday jumped more than 7 per cent to $US565.25($A610.68) in after-market trade after the release of January-March earnings figures showing profit of $US10.2 billion ($A11.02 billion) on $US45.6 billion in revenue. The earnings report came with Apple chief Tim Cook hinting that new products are on the way from the maker of iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers. "We're very proud of our quarterly results, especially our strong iPhone sales and record revenue from services," Cook said in a press release.

  • Aust shares open higher AAP - 3 hours ago
    Aust shares open higher

    The share market is continuing its upward momentum, opening higher after low inflation data prompted a rally. US markets were weaker overnight but upbeat quarterly earnings reports released by Apple and Facebook after the close of trade sparked rises in futures markets. IG market strategist Stan Shamu said investors were pleased at the prospect of interest rates staying low.

  • Greek milestone helps EU move from crisis AAP - 3 hours ago

    Europe's debt crisis is receding farther behind in the rear view mirror. Confirmation from the European Union (EU) that Greece has recorded a primary budget surplus was a key requirement for the country to get more debt relief from international creditors. For more than four years, the eurozone has been grappling with a loss of investor confidence stemming from out-of-control public finances in several countries, such as Greece and Spain. However, the tough austerity medicine that involved big spending cuts and tax rises appears to have stabilised the situation.

  • ResMed lifts 3rd quarter earnings AAP - 3 hours ago

    Medical technology group ResMed has lifted its third quarter earnings six per cent, despite flat sales from its key US market. Australian-listed ResMed, which makes sleep disorder equipment, reported net income of $US89.97 million ($A97.20 million) for the three months to March 31, up from $US85 million a year ago. Chief executive Michael Farrell said the result was encouraging given tough market conditions in the US. "Our Americas business showed encouraging trends and we continue to benefit from our globally diversified business, with constant currency revenue growth of six per cent in combined Europe and Asia-Pacific businesses for the quarter," he said.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles AAP - 20 hours ago
    Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles

    Toyota has kept its position at the top in global vehicle sales for the first quarter of this year, outpacing rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. Toyota Motor said on Wednesday that it sold a record 2.583 million vehicles in the January-March period, putting the Japanese carmaker ahead of Detroit-based GM at 2.42 million and Volkswagen of Germany at 2.4 million. Toyota's first quarter sales rose by more than 6 per cent from the same period the previous year. GM's sales grew 2 per cent, while Volkswagen's added nearly 6 per cent.

  • Advocates vow to revive Navajo junk-food tax Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 11:27 AM NZST
    Advocates vow to revive Navajo junk-food tax

    Facing a high prevalence of diabetes, many American Indian tribes are returning to their roots with community and home gardens, cooking classes that incorporate traditional foods, and running programs ...

  • Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings roar ahead Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 7:06 AM NZST
    Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings roar ahead

    Harley-Davidson reported an 18.7 percent rise in first-quarter earnings, saying motorcycle sales grew 5.8 percent worldwide and efficiency efforts took hold during the quarter. The results beat Wall Street ...

  • How 'Sail' sold: Story of Awolnation's Aaron Bruno Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:41 AM NZST
    How 'Sail' sold: Story of Awolnation's Aaron Bruno

    He has the second longest-running song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. You've likely heard the song — but not the name of the man who created it. Aaron Bruno is the musician behind "Sail," ...

  • 'Modern Family' dad opens beer restaurant in Utah Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:12 AM NZST
    'Modern Family' dad opens beer restaurant in Utah

    He plays a bumbling dad on ABC's "Modern Family," but in Salt Lake City Ty Burrell is trying out for a role as restaurateur. Burrell has just opened Beer Bar, a beer garden-like eatery that serves ...

  • A Small Smartphone Startup Is Going Guerilla to Get Some Big-Time Attention Entrepreneur - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 3:00 AM NZST
    A Small Smartphone Startup Is Going Guerilla to Get Some Big-Time Attention

    You might not have heard of this company before. But that might soon change. It’s using guerilla-style marketing to aggressively get the word out about its forthcoming Android-based smartphone.

  • Summer movie preview: Hollywood bets big again Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:29 AM NZST
    Summer movie preview: Hollywood bets big again

    Like jumbo jets on the runway, Hollywood's summer movies are lined up, ready for takeoff. Will they hit any turbulence? If the movie business had a "fasten your seat belt" light, it was certainly ...

  • Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings up 18.7 percent Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:16 AM NZST
    Harley-Davidson 1Q earnings up 18.7 percent

    Harley-Davidson's first-quarter earnings rose 18.7 percent as motorcycle sales grew worldwide and efficiency efforts took hold. The Milwaukee company says global sales of new motorcycles grew 5.8 percent ...

  • E-cig industry awaits looming federal regulation Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:44 PM NZST
    E-cig industry awaits looming federal regulation

    Smokers are increasingly turning to battery-powered electronic cigarettes to get their nicotine fix. They're about to find out what federal regulators have to say about the popular devices. The Food and ...

  • Hasbro posts 1Q profit, sales of girls' toys rise Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 7:53 AM NZST
    Hasbro posts 1Q profit, sales of girls' toys rise

    Hasbro returned to profitability in its first quarter, driven by sales of girls' toys such as My Little Pony and Nerf Rebelle. The prior-year results were dragged down by restructuring charges. Its latest ...