THE NEWS WRAP: Retail stocks hammered after Super Retail Group’s poor results

Retail stocks took a hammering on Friday after Super Retail Group reported weaker than expected first-half results.

 

The automotive and lifestyle retailer, which is the parent company of the Rebel Sports, Supercheap Auto and Ray’s Outdoors chains, reported its sales were up just 6% to $1.1 billion during the six months to late December.

 

The company also noted that new store openings adversely affected its existing stores, with the results further hampered by the rollout of a new computer system.

 

Warrnambool welcomes Bega decision on Saputo

 

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter chief executive David Lord has welcomed news Bega is opting to sell its 18.8% stake in the Victorian dairy maker to Canadian food giant Saputo.

 

The decision brings Saputo’s holdings in the company to 46.17%, with the Canadian food giant promising WCB investors $9.60 per share if it reaches its target of 90% ownership by Wednesday.

 

“Clearly they are getting very close to a plus-50% position and, once they reach that point, that is a significant threshold in this process, and would seem to signal the beginning of the end in this whole process I would think,” Lord said.

 

Shell issues profit warning amid Geelong refinery sale

 

Oil giant Shell has issued its first profit warning in almost a decade, including warnings about weaker than expected results due to poor conditions in its refining and other downstream businesses.

 

The news comes as a number of suitors, believed to include Swiss group Gunvor, Dutch energy group Vitol and private equity firm TPG, look into purchasing Shell’s Geelong refinery and other Australian downstream assets.

 

“Compared with the fourth quarter 2012, downstream earnings, excluding identified items, were mainly impacted by significantly weaker industry refining conditions, in particular in Asia Pacific and Europe,” the company says in a statement.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up to 16458.6. The Aussie dollar is down to US87.81 cents.

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