Metcash shares fall after profit downgrade: Midday roundup

Shares in Metcash have fallen 2.85% this morning following an announcement from the company that its full year earnings guidance would be lowered.

The move comes after a greater than expected number of store closures, and a fall in interim profit.

For the six months to October 31, the company recorded a 13.1% decline in net profit to $82 million, compared with the previous corresponding period.

Revenue for the same period rose by 3.5% to $6.33 billion.

Chief executive Andrew Reitzer said the number of stores closed in the half, and the number of stores expected to be closed in the future, have exceeded original expectations.

“Therefore due to the combined impact of these factors the company revised our full year underlying earnings per share guidance to between -2% to -6%,” Reitzer says.

“Management remains optimistic that the business model is adaptable to the changing market.”

ACCC clears Graincorp over port deals

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has cleared plans by GrainCorp to offer long term contracts to users of its east coast grain export facilities.

In a statement, the ACCC said it would allow the company to allocate up to 60% of its port capacity to long-term deals.

“The ACCC considers there are benefits in allowing longer-term bookings, including allowing greater certainty for users in planning their long-term grain export programs and aiding supply-chain planning,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims says.

Shares rise despite flat US lead

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, despite a weak lead from the United States where top congressional lawmakers confirmed there had been no substantial progress on a debt deal.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 26 points or 0.6% to 4,504.6 at 12.00 AEST, while in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36 points or 0.3% to 13,021.8.



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