Asciano to axe 500 jobs; JB Hi-Fi confirms full-year earnings amid sales slowdown: Midday Roundup

Asciano to axe 500 jobs; JB Hi-Fi confirms full-year earnings amid sales slowdown: Midday Roundup

Rail freight operator Asciano is expected to axe 500 jobs by June 30 as it ramps up its business improvement programs.

Business Spectator reports the company predicts the move will result in an estimated $90 million in fiscal cost reduction by 2015.

Asciano told an investor briefing in Sydney its original five-year plan, announced in fiscal 2011, has been doubled to $300 million in fiscal savings by fiscal 2016.

The company has relatively low expectations of volume growth across the business, but said its efforts to improve the business will result in growth in fiscal 2015 earnings before interest and tax. 

JB Hi-Fi confirms full-year earnings amid sales slowdown

Retail giant JB Hi-Fi is the latest company to feel the effect of May’s federal budget with a reported sales slowdown, but the retailer remains optimistic by reaffirming its full-year earnings guidance, Fairfaxreports.

The company expects total sales for the year ending June 30 to rise 5.3%, down from a previous forecast of 6 to 8%.

Along with many other retailers, JB Hi-Fi has experienced a drop in sales growth momentum in the June quarter, the new guidance report suggests.  

Despite this, the company still expects to report full-year net profit of between $126 million and $129million, up 8.3% to 10.8%.

Aussie stocks open higher

Local stocks opened higher after a strong lead from Wall St.

“The Federal Open Market Committee met last night and helped the US market hit a new high, confirming that the economy and jobs market are improving, yet there has not been any change to their dovish stance on interest rates,” said Chay Flack, equities dealer at CMC Markets.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 51.6 points, or 0.9% to 5434.3 points at 12:13pm AEDT. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 98.13 points higher, rising 0.58% to 16,906.6 points.

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