Business Advice

Bunnings UK sales drop 13% … Inflation rate sits at 1.8% after a rise of 0.6% … Australia ranks last on global broadband poll

Dominic Powell /

First-quarter sales for hardware chain Bunnings’ operations in the UK and Ireland have dropped more than 13 percent, reports Fairfax. 

Wesfarmers revealed sales for the British operation were £276 million ($457 million) for the first three months of the financial year, down from £320 million at the same time last year.

There are just eight stores in the UK with the “Bunnings” brand, with the company still operating 244 Homebase stores which it purchased in January last year.

“While the performance of Homebase is disappointing, we continue to be encouraged by the performance of the Bunnings pilots,” Bunnings group managing director Michael Schneider said in a statement.

Australia’s inflation rate up 0.6%

Inflation is up 0.6%, missing expectations of a 0.8% rise.

This means the Australia’s underlying inflation sits at 1.8% for the year, with the consumer price index also rising 1.8% in the year to September 30.

“Utilities prices rose strongly in the September quarter 2017,” Bruce Hockman, chief economist for the Australian Bureau of Statistics told Business Insider.

“The most significant rises relate to electricity and gas prices, with increases in wholesale prices being passed on to consumers.”

“Increases in wholesale prices have been observed across the National Electricity Market (NEM), with the most significant rises this quarter in electricity being observed in Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra and Perth.”

Australian broadband ranks last on global poll

A new Ipsos Global Advisor survey has revealed Australian broadband is the worst out of 28 countries, with just 32% of respondents rating Australian broadband fairly or very good, reports Fairfax.

This news comes in the wake of a number of revelations regarding Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), with chief executive Bill Morrow revealing the high costs of some installations and the service’s potential lack of profitability.

The global standard of respondents ranking their broadband services as fairly or very good sat at 56%, with Australia lagging 24 points behind.

At the top of the list were Serbia and South Korea, and rounding out the bottom three with Australia were Italy and Brazil.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the former features and profiles editor at SmartCompany.

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