Kathmandu shares plummet 15% after profit decline: Midday roundup

Shares in outdoor equipment retailer Kathmandu have plummeted 15% after the company announced a 43% decline in first half profit.

The New Zealand-based business saw its shares fall 15.43% to $1.26 this morning after the announcement was made.

In the six months to January 31, Kathmandu posted a net profit of $5.98 million, while revenue rose 15.4% to $146.6 million.

The company said the sector was attracting more competition and that results in the second half would be more dependent on weather.

Vodafone chief Nigel Dews steps down

Vodafone chief executive Nigel Dews has left his post and will be replaced by veteran Bill Morrow, previously chief executive of Vodafone Japan and Britain.

Morrow comes from a role at wireless technology business Clearwire.

The move comes after a tough year for VHA. Last year it was forced to apologise to customers after the company’s network suffered massive speed losses during Easter, while the firm also said its network upgrades weren’t occurring as quickly as it would have liked.

Dews will move to a senior role at Hutchison’s parent Hutchison Whampoa.

Economy to grow, but  it remains sluggish: Report

The Australian economy will grow, but at a sluggish pace, according to the latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of economic activity.

The index measures the likely pace of activity three to nine months in the future.

The index puts growth at 2.6% in January, annualised.

“Data updates for the December quarter reveal a markedly weaker picture through late last year,” economist Matthew Hassan said in a statement, “with the annualised growth rate in the Leading Index now seen dropping to just 0.7% in November”.

Shares fall after losses in offshore markets

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning after weak leads from offshore markets as commodity prices continued to fall on concerns Chinese demand for resources will begin to fall.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 22.4 points or 0.5% to 4252.6 at 12.00 AEST, while the Australian dollar fell on those same concerns over Chinese demand, dropping to $US1.04c.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.9 points or 0.5% to 13,170.

Merchandise imports fall in February

Merchandise imports fell in February, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show imports dropped a seasonally adjusted 5% or $949 million to $19.796 billion, from the upwardly revised $20.745 billion in January.

In unadjusted terms, merchandise imports eased to $1.24 billion, or 6%.

Kathmandu shares plummet 15% after profit decline: Midday roundup

 

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