Kathmandu shares surge 8% after sales update: Midday roundup

Shares in Kathmandu Holdings have surged by 8% this morning after the company announced better than expected sales figures for the first three months of the financial year.

The company’s shares were up 8% to $1.46 this morning after the announcement.

In the first 15 weeks of the year, the company said sales had increased by 19.5% from the previous corresponding period, while same store sales grew by 14.3%.

Chief executive Peter Halkett said the sales results are ahead of expectations, especially considering the difficult sales conditions.

“Consistent with our normal trading pattern, sales to date are less than 20% of our expected total sales for the year.

“Growth in first-half of year profit remains highly dependent on the Christmas and January trading period.”

ATO gives Alesco notice on dividend

The ATO has given its approval to dividend payments that make up a substantial part of the $210 million takeover of Alesco by DuluxGroup.

The agreement mandates that when Dulux receives a 90% acceptance rate, Aelsco will pay shareholders an additional dividend of 27 cents.

“Alesco Corporation today confirmed that it has received a favourable draft class ruling from the Australian Taxation Office in relation to the income tax implications of recent final and special dividends paid by Alesco as well as any additional dividends to be paid to Alesco Shareholders in connection with DuluxGroup Limited’s takeover offer,” the company said in a statement.

Shares flat after weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has fallen flat today following a weak offshore lead, with Wall Street still downbeat on fears of the country’s looming “fiscal cliff”.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 12.6 points or 0.3% to 4,336.7, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 28 points or 0.2% to 12,542.4.

BP to pay $US4.5 billion fine for Mexico gulf oil spill

Oil giant BP will pay $US4.5 billion to the US Government over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, while also pleading guilty to several criminal charges.

The settlement includes $US1.3 billion in criminal fines, the most expensive penalty in US history.



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