This Week in Profit Announcements - Talking Business 2011 Ep 3c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary

Leon and Garry talk about this week’s profit announcements with BHP Billiton announcing a 71.5% jump in its profit to more than $10 billion. Westfield has posted its first annual profit since 2007, reporting $1.1 billion net profit. Coles has helped drive a 33% increase in half year profit for Wesfarmers to $1.17 billion. Westpac announces a small fall in its first quarter earnings but Bendigo and Adelaide Bank posts a 67.1% lift in its half year profit to $173.9 million. Dominos Pizza profits are up nearly 17% to $10.2 million, AMP reports a 5% increase in its profits. Australand property group returns to profitability. But Foster’s reports a 12% fall in its profits as the company moves to split up its beer and wine business. CSL reports a $117 million dive in its half year profit, citing foreign exchange movements. Bank of Queensland says its profits will be hit by flooding and Cyclone Yasi. Influenza vaccine developer Biota reports a $15.85 million loss. Retailers are also taking a beating with Reject Shop reporting a 16% drop in its profit and the Nini B fashion chain announcing a 58% drop in its profits. Specialty Fashion Group says its profits have fallen 37% to $16.8 million, citing difficult trading conditions. Leighton posts a 25% fall in its profits and cuts it dividend. Direct marketer Salmat posts a lower first half profit of $22.7 million. Insurance Australia Group says it has incurred a $300 million net natural peril claim. Rio Tinto expects the price of iron ore to ease back in the next two to five years. Meanwhile, Australian banks are put on notice that they could get downgraded by Moodys. The latest figure from the ABS show more people are taking out home loans. Crop damage from the floods and Yasi have forced the RBA to revise its estimate for inflation, saying it will go from 2.5% to 3%. The RBA says flooding will slow down economic growth. Online advertising is expected to boom this year with online ad sales already topping $2.2 billion. The banks are fighting over the scrapping of mortgage exit fees. The latest survey shows Australians are more trusting of government and business. The Reserve Bank is spending millions on furniture, including a $18,000 desk for governor Glenn Stevens. BHP Billiton Marius Kloppers was worried about espionage from the Chinese, according to Wikileaks. Telstra is upgrading its mobile phone network, the Business Council of Australia wants the government to cut disability payment to fund the repair to flood damage. Cost of living figures show things are more than expensive than what the official inflation figures are telling us. Sensis is cutting 120 jobs as fewer are using phone books and Telstra is sacking call centre workers. Singapore Exchange sweetens its offer for the ASX. Australia is in for a bumper wheat crop despite the floods. The Productivity Commission begins its inquiry into e-commerce and e-retailing. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon instigates an inquiry into Coles and Woolworths discount milk retailing. Borders and Angus &Robertson go out of business.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler
business, RMIT, economics