THE NEWS WRAP: Disappointing post-election results for Harvey Norman

Harvey Norman has posted a 1.2% increase in sales at its Australian stores during the September quarter, with chairman Gerry Harvey saying an expected post-election boom in sales failed to materialise.

 

“I don’t think the result is good. Sales are up… but they’re marginally up,” Harvey says.

 

“We haven’t got the kick from the election that we expected. There’s been a little bit of a pick-up, it’s only small.”

 

Westpac profit up 14% to $6.8 billion

 

Westpac has announced a full-year profit of $6.8 billion for the year to September, up 14% year-on-year.

 

The strong result places it ahead of the $5.5 billion reported by the NAB and the $6.3 billion reported by ANZ, but behind the $7.7 billion reported by the Commonwealth Bank.

 

“We will continue to remain disciplined, due to global uncertainties and structural change in the Australian economy,” chief executive Gail Kelly says.

 

“However, I’m encouraged by signs of improving confidence, which we expect to lead to increased lending activity, in particular in New South Wales.”

 

Reserve Bank expected to hold rates on hold

 

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep rates on hold when it meets later today, with all 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expecting no change.

 

The cash rate is currently at a historic low of 2.5%.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.05% to 15623.39. The Aussie dollar is up to US95.17 cents.

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