Economy

LinkedIn reaches 5 million Australian members; Industries Minister says auto sector may not survive; Chicken companies fined $400,000 for misleading claims; NAB profits up: Midday Roundup

Myriam Robin /

One in four members of Australia’s population are on LinkedIn.

The company announced today that it had reached 5 million Australian members, with the IT services, construction, financial services, education, hospital and health-care industries being the best represented on the professional social-networking site.

The announcement comes just seven months after LinkedIn reached 4 million members in March. Globally, LinkedIn claims it has 259 million members.

Industries Minister says auto sector may not survive

Industries Minister Ian Macfarlane has conceded in an interview that there’s a chance Australia’s automotive manufacturing sector may not survive.

Asked whether the industry could fold by a journalist at The Australian, Macfarlane said: “there is a possibility”.

That’s because the level of government support needed to maintain the sector may not be forthcoming.

“What we have got to do is have a sound, robust process, which I will use to convince those in our cabinet that aren’t supporters of another car plan [that] we should put in place another car plan.”

The new government has asked the Productivity Commission to look into the competitiveness of Australia’s car industry. The body is due to hand down its report on December 20.

Chicken companies fined $400,000 for misleading claims

The Federal Court has ordered Baiada Poultry and Bartter Enterprises pay a total of $400,000 for misleading claims on product packaging suggesting their chickens had been “free to roam”.

The companies, which are the processers and suppliers of Steggles branded chicken products, engaged in false, misleading and deceptive conduct when saying their chickens were “free to roam in large barns”.

In reality, the chickens had floor space less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper each.

NAB profits up

The National Australia Bank has recorded strong gains in its full-year results, with cash profits up 9.3% to $5.94 billion.

The net profit of $5.45 billion was a 33.6% lift on the previous year’s $4.08 billion.

NAB paid a total fully-franked dividend of $1.90 for the year, when combined with NAB’s interim dividend of 93 cents.

Shares open down     

Aussie shares opened lower this morning on the back of Wall Street losses overnight, but by midday had made back early losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was down 0.1 to 5430.8 at 11:48 AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 0.39% lower, down 61.59 points to 15,618.76.

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Myriam Robin

Myriam Robin is a reporter for SmartCompany and its sister site LeadingCompany. She has degrees in economics, international studies and journalism. She likes writing about businesses taking risks and doing new things.

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