David Jones sales fall 1.2% in 2013; Rudd accuses Coalition of $10 billion black hole: Midday Roundup

Department store giant David Jones has announced a fall in sales for the 2013 financial year, but shares have risen 3.9% after the news.

The company said this morning sales were down 1.2% to $1.87 billion for the full year, with like-for-like revenue also falling from $1.87 billion to $1.83 billion.

Chief executive David Zahra said the environment remains challenging.

“A number of retailers [were] engaging in aggressive discounting in order to address inventory build-up resulting from the unseasonably warm 2013 winter,” he said.

Labor accuses Coalition of $10 billion black hole

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has accused Coalition of harbouring a $10 billion black hole, despite saying it could find $31 billion in budget savings.

Rudd told reporters this morning it was “quite clear” there is a $10 billion black hole, referring to savings from scrapping the Low Income Superannuation Contribution and getting rid of 12,000 public service staff.

“It is quite clear that there is now a massive $10 billion hole in the $30 billion they are claiming,” Rudd said, according to Business Spectator.

“Beyond that, what are the rest of the cuts necessary to make up the $70 billion to which [shadow treasurer Joe] Hockey and [shadow finance minister Andrew] Robb have claimed are necessary?”

Rudd also said the savings were a “fraud on the Australian people”.

CAPEX rises in June quarter

Private capital expenditure rose against expectations during the June quarter, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show CAPEX rose by a seasonally adjusted 4% to $40 billion during the quarter.

Analysts had expected the result to be flat.

Shares fall on rumours of military action

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning, as world markets continue to bolster themselves ahead of possible military action against Syria by the United States.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 15 points or 0.3% to 5,072.1 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 48 points or 0.3% to 14,824.5.


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