JB Hi-Fi shares jump despite dip in first-half profits; ASIC enforcement actions focus on SMEs: Midday Roundup

JB Hi-Fi shares jump despite dip in first-half profits; ASIC enforcement actions focus on SMEs: Midday Roundup

Shares in JB Hi-Fi have jumped by close to 4% this morning, off the back of the release of electronics retailer’s half-year profit results. 

Despite recording a 2% fall in profit compared to the previous six months, JB Hi-Fi said it remains optimistic about its full-year results for the 2014-15 financial year. 

JB Hi-Fi booked net profits of $88.5 million for the six months to December 31, 2014, compared to $90.4 million in the previous six months. According to Business Spectator, analysts were predicting the retailer’s profits to fall between a range of $87 million and $92.8 million. 

Revenue crept up 1.3% in the six-month period to $1.965 billion, although sales fell 0.7% compared to the previous period. In a statement to the ASX, JB Hi-Fi chief executive Richard Murray said the results were “pleasing” given the “the combined headwinds of a challenging first quarter sales result and the cycling of both digital switchover in visual and the launch of new gaming consoles in the second quarter last financial year”. 

“We executed the key Christmas trading period well, maintaining our price leadership and keeping costs well-controlled while investing for future growth in HOME, Commercial and Online,” Murray said. 

ASIC enforcement actions focus on SMEs 

The corporate watchdog has revealed that of the 348 enforcements it made between July and December last year, 204 were in the area of small business compliance and deterrence. 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s six-monthly enforcement report shows the other 144 enforcements were made in the areas of market integrity, corporate governance and financial services. 

Of the action taken against small businesses, 194 enforcements were taken against company directors, while another 10 were in regards to efficient registration and licensing. 

“Current and future areas of focus for ASIC include loan fraud, financial market benchmark rates, illegal phoenix activity and retail margin foreign exchange trading,” said ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer. 

Shares up on open 

Aussie shares have traded higher this morning, despite losses on Wall Street at the end of last week. 

“The Australian share market has had a surprisingly strong start to the trading week,” said Andrew West, director of Quay Equities. 

“After seven straight days of gains, we did expect a softer session particularly given the weak Chinese PMI data out on the weekend and the sluggish Wall Street lead. The weak Chinese data possibly pointing to increased stimulus in the region.” 

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 34.8 points to 5623.1 points at 12.04pm AEDT. On Friday, the Dow Jones closed 251.90 points lower, down 1.45% to 17165 points.

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