Ausenco shares plummet on profits downgrade, Aussies eating less McDonald’s: Midday Roundup

Shares in engineering company Ausenco have taken a hit this morning, falling over 30% after announcing lower than expected first-half earnings, issuing a warning on its full-year results.

At midday, Ausenco shares were down 31.77%, losing $0.68 to $1.47.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, the company said poor market conditions were to blame, as “project evaluation, asset optimisation and brownfield developments” were softer than in the previous year.

The group expects to announce first-half revenue of $255 million and underlying net profit after tax of between $6 million and $7 million.

Aussies eating less McDonalds

Australians are buying fewer burgers and fries, at least that’s what the world’s largest fast-food chain McDonald’s is saying.

Addressing US investors, McDonald’s global chief executive and president Don Thompson said Australians were spending less at McDonalds, as tough competition has led to lower revenue for the company.

Thompson labelled high levels of youth unemployment as the driving factor for the decrease in spending and a record drop in comparable store sales in Australia, despite McDonalds still dominating the fast food market.

Thompson claimed Australia’s youth unemployment levels had hit 25.5%, although the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the youth unemployment rate in May was 11.6%.

Shares open lower

Aussie shares have opened lower this morning, as negative company earnings results drive the S&P benchmark and the All Ords lower.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark had fallen 17.4 points to 5017.7 just after midday.

The materials and energy sectors have suffered the biggest falls, losing 96.8 and 138.3 points respectively.

Salary packaging company McMillan Shakespeare has dropped 47.92% to $8.00 this morning, following the proposed tax changes to the fringe benefits tax.


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