Woolworths downgrades guidance

Woolworths has downgraded its full year guidance and announced plans to step up investment in its core supermarkets business after falling further behind arch rival Coles. Woolworths suffered a 3.1 per cent slide in its first half profit to $1.28 billion due to costs associated with its efforts to turnaround Big W, but beat market expectations by lifting its underlying net profit to $1.38 billion…

  • Is HSBC too big to manage? AAP - 15 minutes ago

    HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, has endured a string of scandals and paid billions in penalties to regulators around the world. MPs on the UK Parliament's Treasury Committee peppered HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint and Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver on Wednesday with questions about personal accountability amid allegations that its Swiss private bank helped wealthy clients, including as many as 1,000 Britons, evade taxes.

  • UPDATE: Winemaker Delegat says increased sales due … BusinessDesk - 31 minutes ago

    Consumers trading up to premium wine and an improved economy is behind a 19 percent boost in North American sales to 425,000 cases for New Zealand's largest listed wine company, Delegat Group. North America became the company's biggest market last year ahead of Australia and New Zealand and managing director Graeme Lord said there was a lot more growth potential in that market. Chardonnay remains the dominant varietal in North America but there was opportunity to make consumers more aware of sauvignon blanc and Delegat's Oyster Bay brand which has become the leading brand for the category in New York and Massachussets and southern California, he said.

  • Marsden Maritime posts 5.7% gain in 1H profit, expects … BusinessDesk - 37 minutes ago

    Marsden Maritime Holdings, which owns half of Whangarei's Northport, posted a 5.7 percent rise in first-half profit and said annual earnings will probably be in line with last year on similar cargo volumes. The Whangarei-based company said profit rose to $4 million, or 9.75 cents per share, in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $3.8 million, or 9.22 cents, in the year earlier period. The company's property holdings, which include an industrial subdivision and farmland at Marsden Point, turned to a profit of $224,000 from a loss of $76,000 the year earlier. Its Marsden Cove Marina and commercial complex, acquired in July last year, had a profit of $26,000 on revenue of $312,000.

  • Precinct raises $73.6 million from instos in capital … BusinessDesk - 39 minutes ago

    Precinct Properties New Zealand, the property investor rebalancing its portfolio to Auckland, has raised $73.6 million from institutional investors ahead of its retail offer to fund a major development in the country's largest city. Institutional shareholders elected to take up 98 percent of their entitlements via the one-for-seven offer with shares priced at $1.15, a discount to the last traded share price of $1.225, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Precinct will open the offer to its retail shareholders on March 2, and it will run to March 18. On Wednesday, Precinct reported net operating income, which adjusts for non-cash items, of $35.3 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $32 million.

  • Cabcharge profit falls 13% AAP - 40 minutes ago

    Payments system operator Cabcharge is looking to expand beyond the taxi system in an increasingly cashless society after a 13.4 per cent slump in its half year net profit to $31.2 million. The company ...

  • $A falls as US data surprises AAP - 52 minutes ago

    The Australian dollar has fallen sharply after the release of some positive US economic data. Falling petrol prices pulled the US consumer price index down 0.7 per cent in January and the annual rate was down 0.1 per cent, the first year-on-year decline since October 2009. Meanwhile orders for US durable goods in January rose for the first time in three months. Westpac senior market strategist Imre Speizer said the economic figures pushed the US dollar higher against most currencies including the Australian dollar.

  • Aust bonds weaker after US inflation data AAP - 53 minutes ago

    The Australian bond market is weaker after the release of some positive underlying US inflation figure. Falling petrol prices pulled the US consumer price index down 0.7 per cent in January and the annual ...

  • NZ building consents fall for a second month in January, … BusinessDesk - 56 minutes ago

    Seasonally adjusted dwelling consents, including apartments and retirement units, fell 3.8 percent to 2,108 in January from a month earlier, adding to the 2.3 percent decline in December, according to Statistics New Zealand. Stripping out apartments, housing consents fell 7.5 percent to 1,719, the first decline in four months.

  • Treasury Wine's profit down AAP - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    Treasury Wine Estates' first half net profit has fallen 60 per cent to $42.6 million but sales and underlying earnings were up for the period. The previous year's result was inflated by an $80.5 million ...

  • Woolworths downgraded guidance AAP - 1 hour 15 minutes ago

    Woolworths has downgraded its full year guidance as it looks to step up investment in its core supermarkets business. The supermarket giant had previously forecast full year profit growth of between four and seven per cent but now says growth is likely to be at the lower end of analysts forecasts for a profit increase of between 1.8 per cent and 6.6 per cent. Woolworths suffered a 3.1 per cent slide in its first half profit to $1.28 billion due to costs associated with its efforts to turnaround Big W.

  • Rio merges coal and copper units AAP - 1 hour 24 minutes ago

    Rio Tinto will merge its copper and coal divisions into one business as part of a new range of cost-cutting measures announced by the mining giant. Under the new arrangements, Rio Tinto's portfolio of assets will be condensed into four product groups: aluminium, copper and coal, diamonds and minerals, and iron ore. The company's long-serving energy chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney will leave the business after almost 25 years. Copper chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques will lead the combined product group.

  • Allied Farmers posts 1H profit, says uncertain dairy … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 24 minutes ago

    Allied Farmers, which is rebuilding after taking over the failed Hanover and United Finance loan books, turned to a profit in the first-half as its livestock division exceeded expectations but flagged second half sales may be weaker because of uncertainty around the dairy payout. Its livestock division boosted profit before tax 97 percent to $750,000 in the period, while overall livestock sales were 14 percent ahead of the same period last year. Allied flagged that second half sales, which are normally stronger than first, may decline as dairy farmers wait to see what they will be paid for milk production. Yesterday, Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter, held its forecast payout at $4.70 per kilogram of milk solids, down from a record $8.40/kgMS last season.

  • Transpower hikes 1H dividend, warns of regulatory threat … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    Transpower, the state-owned operator of the national electricity grid, hiked its first-half dividend to the government as revenue gained on the completion of its major upgrade, but is warning earnings and future payouts could be hit by regulatory decisions. The Wellington-based state-owned enterprise lifted its interim dividend to $75.2 million, which it will pay on March 20, from $60 million a year earlier, after the completion of a major investment programme helped lift revenue 6.7 percent to $526.9 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, it said in a statement. Chairman Mark Verbiest said the period reflected the shift to focusing on operational efficiency after several years of major investment, including the upgrade to the trans-Cook Strait cable HVDC. In November, Transpower warned changes to its allowable rate of return by the Commerce Commission would weigh on its performance, with revenue for the fourth quarter of the company's 2015 financial year expected to be $19 million below that implied in its 2014/15 Statement of Corporate Intent, and at least $75 million a year below expectations in subsequent years.

  • Woolworths profit slides 3.1% AAP - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    Woolworths has suffered a 3.1 per cent slide in its first half profit to $1.28 billion due to costs associated with its efforts to turn around Big W, but beat market expectations by lifting its underlying ...

  • Winemaker Delegat posts 45% drop in 1H profit despite … BusinessDesk - 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    Delegat Group, New Zealand's largest listed wine company, has posted a 45 per cent drop in first-half profit, mainly caused by a $10.7 million writedown of its vines and grapes and losses on derivative instruments used to limit its foreign currency exposure. Net profit was $9.77 million for the six months ending Dec. 31, which included fair value adjustments of $3.1 million for its vines, $7.5 million for its grapes, and $4.3 million for derivative instruments, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Delegat confirmed record operating profit of $20.5 million, up 2 percent from $20.2 million in the previous corresponding period, following a 4 percent rise in global case sales to 1.13 million. North America became the company's biggest market last year, and global case sales to the US and Canada were up 19 percent to 425,000.

New Zealand Markets

Company Finances

  • Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash Associated Press - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 1:13 AM NZDT
    Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash

    After a horrific crash a decade ago that killed 11 people and injured 180 more, Southern California's commuter train network began investing heavily in passenger cars designed to protect passengers from ...

  • Expanding food group lifts profit forecast AAP - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 11:07 PM NZDT
    Expanding food group lifts profit forecast

    The owner of Gloria Jean's and Michel's Patisserie expects earnings to continue to rise despite sluggish consumer confidence. Retail Food Group, which also owns the Crust pizza chain and Brumby's bakeries, achieved a 24 per cent rise in half year net profit to $21.5 million. The profit growth was driven by its purchase of new businesses, including Gloria Jean's and Cafe2U. Retail Food Group's coffee roasting operations have more than tripled in size, taking annual production to 5.9 million kilograms.

  • California's plastic bag ban suspended by ballot referendum Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 1:45 PM NZDT
    California's plastic bag ban suspended by ballot referendum

    California's first-in-the-nation statewide ban on plastic shopping bags was put on hold Tuesday when state election officials confirmed a trade group had turned in enough signatures to place the issue ...

  • Utah governor wants to leave liquor laws untouched this year Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 12:25 PM NZDT
    Utah governor wants to leave liquor laws untouched this year

    Gov. Gary Herbert says state lawmakers should back off efforts to change Utah's liquor laws this year, including a proposal to repeal a requirement that some restaurants mix and prepare drinks out of customers' ...

  • Rothman replaces Pascal as film chief at Sony Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 9:02 AM NZDT
    Rothman replaces Pascal as film chief at Sony

    Former 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman has been named chairman of Sony's Motion Picture Group, replacing Amy Pascal as studio head and effectively concluding Sony's shake-up following the damaging hacking ...

  • Rothman named co-chair of Sony Pictures, replacing Pascal Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 7:55 AM NZDT
    Rothman named co-chair of Sony Pictures, replacing Pascal

    Former 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman has been named chairman of Sony's Motion Picture Group, replacing Amy Pascal as studio head and effectively concluding Sony's shake-up following the damaging hacking ...

  • The 3 Most Awesomely Absurd Campaigns on Kickstarter Right Now Entrepreneur - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 6:34 AM NZDT
    The 3 Most Awesomely Absurd Campaigns on Kickstarter Right Now

    The power of the crowd is real. And so is people's ability to create the wackiest things possible.

  • Cadillac recalls ATS cars to fix hair-trigger sunroof switch Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 5:11 AM NZDT
    Cadillac recalls ATS cars to fix hair-trigger sunroof switch

    General Motors is recalling about 67,000 Cadillac ATS compact sports sedans to fix a problem with the power sunroof controls. The recall affects cars from the 2013 through 2015 model years. GM says the ...

  • What to know about new research on babies, peanut allergies Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 1:10 AM NZDT
    What to know about new research on babies, peanut allergies

    Children at high risk of developing peanut allergies are far less likely to do so if they are given peanut-containing foods before they turn 1, finds a major study that is expected to quickly change dietary ...

  • Early exposure to peanuts helps prevent allergies in kids Associated Press - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 1:10 AM NZDT
    Early exposure to peanuts helps prevent allergies in kids

    For years, parents of babies who seem likely to develop a peanut allergy have gone to extremes to keep them away from peanut-based foods. Now a major study suggests that is exactly the wrong thing to do. ...