Top Stories

  • Metlifecare stake not a long-term hold for Infratil, Bogoievski says BusinessDesk - 49 minutes ago

    Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski is happy with the 80 percent gain the value of the infrastructure investor's stake in retirement village operator Metlifecare, but doesn't expect the minority interest will be a long-term hold. Wellington-based Infratil has branched out into new sectors such as retirement villages as it looks to fill its portfolio with a mix of solid cash-generating investments to help fund riskier ventures that may need capital to pursue development opportunities. Speaking after yesterday's annual meeting in Wellington, Bogoievski said Metlifecare falls into the development category with aspirations to add to its 24 existing villages and beef up its aged care services.

  • Patrol vessels 'mean SA shipyard security' AAP - 1 hour 21 minutes ago
    Patrol vessels 'mean SA shipyard security'

    Locking in plans for a 2018 patrol vessel project would offer South Australian shipyard workers more security, the state government says, after a new round of redundancies. On Wednesday, shipbuilder ASC announced it will cut 175 jobs at its Port Adelaide shipyard by the end of October as its Air Warfare Destroyer project winds down. Federal Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne says while the requirements of SA's shipbuilding industry are changing, it will benefit from the construction of 12 offshore patrol vessels at Port Adelaide from 2018.

  • Nine turns from US shows to lift ratings AAP - 1 hour 32 minutes ago
    Nine turns from US shows to lift ratings

    Nine Entertainment has negotiated its way out of a costly contract to broadcast US TV shows and is refocusing on local content in response to disappointing ratings. The broadcaster, which on Thursday reported a seven per cent decline in underlying full-year profit, has set aside $86 million to pay its way out of the unprofitable deal with Warner Bros. Nine had been obliged to purchase a list of shows for as long as new series were being made - even if no one watched them - but is now aiming to hike the hours of premium Australian content by 50 per cent over the 2017 calendar year.

  • Flight Centre faces choppy year AAP - 1 hour 44 minutes ago

    Travel group Flight Centre faces a turbulent year, amid soft demand in the UK and the US because of the fallout from the Brexit vote and worries about the Zika virus. Britain's surprise decision to leave the European Union hit consumer confidence and demand across the corporate and leisure sectors. Flight Centre said the US airline industry has been hurt by the outbreak of the Zika virus, which has led to travel warnings in key markets for US holidaymakers.

  • Event cinemas lift profit 19.6 per cent AAP - 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    Cinema and hotel operator Event Hospitality and Entertainment's full-year profit is up 19.6 per cent to $130.2 million thanks to a host of Hollywood blockbusters and strong hotel results. Revenue for the year to June 30 rose nine per cent to $1.281 billion as its cinema business benefited from big film releases, including the latest Star Wars and James Bond films, and a 25 per cent profit lift in its hotels and resorts segment.

  • First self-driving taxis in Singapore AAP - 1 hour 59 minutes ago
    First self-driving taxis in Singapore

    The world's first self-driving taxis will be picking up passengers in Singapore. Select members of the public will on Thursday be able to hail a free ride through their smartphones in taxis operated by ...

  • Miners drag Australian stock market lower AAP - 2 hours 1 minute ago

    The Australian share market is lower as weak commodity prices weigh on resource stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.14 per cent at 1200 AEST, amid a flurry of company earning reports. Global ...

  • Stocks to watch AAP - 2 hours 17 minutes ago

    AMC - AMCOR - up 67 cents, or 4.4 per cent, at $15.98 Packaging giant Amcor's full-year net profit has fallen 64.1 per cent to $US244.1 million, weighed down by a heavy charge taken to remove foreign currency ...

  • South32 slumps to $2.1 billion annual loss AAP - 2 hours 28 minutes ago
    South32 slumps to $2.1 billion annual loss

    Diversified miner South32 has slumped to a net loss of $US1.62 billion ($A2.13 billion) in its first full-year as a listed company, after taking heavy writedowns in its manganese, coal and alumina operations to reflect the slump in commodities prices. The company, a spin-off from BHP Billiton, said it is on track to achieve a forecast reduction in unit costs by the end of the 2016/17 financial year after completing a heavy round of restructuring at its major operations.

  • Crown alleges Ngatata Love set up $3M in secret payments to buy house for himself and partner BusinessDesk - 2 hours 29 minutes ago

    Former Treaty negotiator Ngatata Love was fully aware of and approved a $1.5 million payment from a land developer into a trust controlled by his partner, Lorraine Skiffington, which is at the heart of his fraud trial, the Crown says. In the High Court in Wellington prosecutor Grant Burston today delivered his closing submissions of the Crown's case against Love, who is charged with obtaining significant sums by deception, or alternately obtaining a secret commission. The Crown says Love signed an agreement in late 2006 with Auckland property developers Redwood Group and Equinox Group to ensure they could lease land owned by the Wellington Tenths Trust, which he chaired.

  • Elderly Vic man dies in crash, woman hurt AAP - 2 hours 29 minutes ago

    An elderly man is dead and an elderly woman is seriously injured after a crash near Lake Eildon in Victoria. The man was driving when he lost control on a bend in Macs Cove about 12.30pm on Wednesday, ...

  • Vic economy to grow at 3pct: Pallas AAP - 2 hours 36 minutes ago

    Economic growth in Victoria is expected to ramp up to three per cent this year, state Treasurer Tim Pallas says. "Having predicted last year growth of 2.5 per cent, we are now expecting growth to ...

  • China spurs Canadian blueberry splurge AAP - 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    An ageing mansion sits vacant on an estate outside Vancouver, the garage overtaken by a blueberry sorter and a walk-in cooler packed with the fruit. The owner, an investor from mainland China, leases the estate to Fred Liu at such a bargain the farmer grows blueberries in its fields even though the bottom has fallen out of the market. As it turns out, the same wave of Chinese wealth that has fuelled real estate booms in cities like New York, Sydney and San Francisco and stoked the art market worldwide also has contributed to an unexpected glut of blueberries.

  • Retail Food Group profit swells to $61.3m AAP - 2 hours 43 minutes ago

    Retail Food Group's profits has risen 79.1 per cent to $61.3 million as the company purchases a Victorian based food manufacturer and distributor. The company, which operates major food outlets including ...

  • Currency, tax waves drown Billabong profit AAP - 2 hours 50 minutes ago
    Currency, tax waves drown Billabong profit

    The higher US dollar and tax expenses have wiped out Billabong's profit, with the company posting a $23.7 million full-year net loss despite growing worldwide sales. The surfwear manufacturer, which lifted profit to $4.15 million in 2014/15, says its bottom line has also been hit by reducing excess inventory in the Americas. "Against a backdrop of global uncertainty and industry change, we continue to focus on the levers within out control, including inventories, initiatives to lift margins, cost of doing business and quality distribution," Billabong chief executive Neil Fiske said.

  • Village Roadshow's profit plummets 64% AAP - 2 hours 55 minutes ago

    Village Roadshow's profit has plummeted 64 per cent to $15.7 million on the disappointing performances of its Sydney Wet 'n' Wild theme park and its film distribution business. The film company and theme ...

  • Southern Cross ad boost lifts profits AAP - 3 hours ago

    Radio and regional television broadcaster Southern Cross Media has lifted full-year profit by 19.2 per cent to $77.2 million and reported ad revenue growth across its markets. Southern Cross, which operates Triple M and Hit Network radio stations and has a regional television affiliation with the Nine network, said revenue was up 5.1 per cent to $642.3 million for the year to June 30. The company said advertising revenue is expected to grow in 2016/17 across radio and television, and declared a final dividend of 3.5 cents, fully franked.

  • Focus on reports as resources drag market AAP - 3 hours ago

    The Australian share market has opened lower as a drop in the materials sector offset some strong results on another packed day of company earning reports. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.28 per cent at 1025 AEST, as investors remain focused on a busy morning of earning reports. The "meteoric" rise in the Woolworths share price and the recovery of Wesfarmers were both the star performers of the open, Phillip Capital senior client advisor Michael Heffernan said.

  • UPDATE: Methven books $2.7M after cancelling earn-out with Chinese factory owner BusinessDesk - 3 hours ago

    Listed shower and tapware maker Methven booked a $2.7 million gain in its full-year net profit adjustments after cancelling an earnout agreement with the owner of the Chinese manufacturing facility it bought in 2014. Two years ago the company bought Invention Sanitary, since renamed Methven Heshan, from Hui Zhuang. Zhuang retired from the business in December last year and then last month sold his 5.85 percent stake in Methven.

  • NZ insolvency practitioners face new licensing regime BusinessDesk - 3 hours ago

    New Zealand's insolvency practitioners look likely to face a new licensing regime after a report to Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith found that gaps in existing rules enable dishonesty and incompetence. The public has until Oct. 7 to make submissions on a review of insolvency law, which Goldsmith says is primarily to find what the minimum level of entry should be for the specialists tasked with winding down companies. The Insolvency Working Group, set up in November, recommended improvements to the law, finding "too many providers of insolvency services fall well short of the standards of integrity and skill that the New Zealand public is entitled to expect" by overcharging or failing to protect the interests of creditors.

  • Professional worker exodus reshapes Qatar AAP - 3 hours ago

    Five years ago Samer Habib left the United Arab Emirates and moved to Qatar where he opened a restaurant that turned a profit serving Lebanese salads and sandwiches to expats. Like other Gulf states heavily dependent on energy sales, Qatar - the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter - has sought to cushion the impact of lower oil prices on its finances by raising utility bills and slashing spending. Many of the foreign workers who make up the bulk of the 2.5 million-strong population have been affected.

  • NZ to get drone pizza delivery within year AAP - 3 hours ago
    NZ to get drone pizza delivery within year

    New Zealand's pizza lovers will be the first to grab a slice delivered by airborne robots, as Domino's shows off its new drone in Auckland. The pizza giant demonstrated its robot delivery system on Thursday ...

  • Vic economy grows faster than expected AAP - 3 hours ago

    Victoria's economy is growing faster than expected, state Treasurer Tim Pallas says. "We predicted last year growth of 2.5 per cent (but) we're now expecting growth to increase by three per cent both ...

  • Shaver Shop annual results hit forecasts AAP - 4 hours ago

    Grooming products specialist Shaver Shop has hit its prospectus forecasts. Shaver Shop - which listed on the Australian stock exchange on July 1 - reported pro-forma annual profit after tax of $7.5 million ...

  • Nine sees more challenges in TV ad market AAP - 4 hours ago
    Nine sees more challenges in TV ad market

    Nine Entertainment has bounced back from last year's huge loss with a full-year profit of $324.8 million, but warned that the outlook for the free-to-air TV ad market remains challenging. "The ratings and revenue performance of our core free-to-air business was disappointing in the first six months of calendar 2016, due to a combination of the challenging ad market and poor programming outcomes," chief executive Hugh Marks said.

  • SA calls for urgency on patrol vessels AAP - 4 hours ago

    Shipyard workers in South Australia would be more secure if the Commonwealth finalised its plans to build new patrol vessels at Port Adelaide, the state government says. On Wednesday, shipbuilder ASC announced ...

  • Climate change to increase hay fever AAP - 4 hours ago
    Climate change to increase hay fever

    Millions more Britons could start to suffer from hay fever as a result of climate change, a study has suggested. Around one million people are currently thought to suffer hay fever from ragweed pollen but this figure could rise to more than six million by 2060, the study found. Researchers from across Europe, led by the University of East Anglia (UEA), estimated that across the continent the number of people who suffer an allergy to the pollen from the weed will increase from 33 million to 77 million over the same time frame.

  • Countdown FY earnings slip 3.7% on record revenue BusinessDesk - 4 hours ago

    The Countdown supermarket chain posted a 3.7 percent drop in annual earnings due to a combination of food price deflation, competitive pressures and increased team-based performance payments as part of a customer service improvement programme. Earnings before interest and tax fell to $313.9 million in the 52 weeks to June 26, from $326 million the previous year, its ASX-listed parent company Woolworths announced. When normalised for team performance-based bonuses, Countdown's ebit for the year was flat compared with the previous year, the company said.

  • Iluka posts $20.9m half-year loss AAP - 4 hours ago

    Mineral sands miner Iluka Resources has suffered a $20.9 million half-year loss as a fall in iron ore royalty income and the cost of trialling new mining techniques drag it into the red. The miner's revenue fell 7.6 per cent to $359.6 million for the half-year to June 30 as its production of mineral sands rose but revenue per tonne fell 10.2 per cent.

  • Venezuela weighs on Amcor profit AAP - 4 hours ago

    Packaging giant Amcor's full-year net profit has fallen 64.1 per cent to $US244.1 million, weighed down by a heavy charge taken to remove foreign currency volatility risk. Amcor's underlying profit was ...

  • Australian stocks open lower AAP - 4 hours ago

    The Australian share market has opened lower. At 1010 AEST on Thursday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 17.4 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 5,544.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down ...

  • Hold the lift! - Biz' answer to rising yen AAP - 4 hours ago

    While previous bouts of strength in the yen have pushed Japanese manufacturers to shift production overseas, exporters are coping with the recent currency stresses by penny-pinching - turning off lights and cramming elevators in the hope that nothing more drastic will be needed before the tide turns. The yen, a haven in troubled times, has been climbing in the unsettled period before and after Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union (Brexit) upset global markets, moving nearly 10 yen against the US dollar since early June to just under 100. For big exporters like car giant Toyota and electronic goods maker and Panasonic, that makes a sizeable dent in operating profit - a one yen rise against the US dollar can cost as much as Y40 billion ($A519.89 million) for Toyota and Y1 billion for Panasonic.

  • Perpetual net profit up in volatile market AAP - 4 hours ago

    Fund manager Perpetual's full-year profit is up eight per cent, helped in part by a fall in expenses amid continued market volatility. The group's net profit lifted to $132 million for the 12 months to June 30 despite a two per cent fall in revenue to $489.6 million.

  • Nine Entertainment returns to profit AAP - 4 hours ago

    Nine Entertainment has reported a full-year profit of $324.8 million, bouncing back from last year's writedown-driven loss. Revenue for the year to June 30 was down six per cent to $1.29 billion and underlying net profit was down seven per cent to $120.3 million, although the bottom line was buoyed by a $291.5 million profit on the sale of the Nine Live business.

  • Retailer RCG delivers sharp profit rise AAP - 4 hours ago

    The retailer behind The Athlete's Foot and Dr Martens has seen its annual net profit more than double to $29.9 million, thanks its $200 million acquisition of footwear chain Accent Group. Its annual underlying earnings - a key figure tracked by retail analysts - has also more than doubled to $60.4 million, from $21.8 million a year earlier.