Myer half-year profit down 23% as costs soar; ACCI wants unfair dismissal rules dumped for small business: Midday Roundup
Thursday, March 19, 2015/
Myer’s share price has taken a hit this morning, after the retailer revealed a 23.1% decline in net profit after tax for the first half of the 2015 financial year.
The retailer’s net profit for the six months came in at $62.2 million, compared to $80.8 million for the corresponding period last year.
While sales for the period were up by 1.5% to $1,763 million, Myer said the results were below expectations and it expects pressure on its gross profit margins to continue throughout the rest of the year.
Myer’s costs of doing business increased by 6.2% in the period to $569.6 million, which included a $20 million investment in the relaunch of the Myer brand, the rolling out of new stores and refurbishing existing ones, IT infrastructure and “costs relating to the merchandise and omni-channel strategies”.
Myer said it expects sales to grow be between 3-4% in the second half of the financial year, with two new stores to open, four refurbishments completed and continued growth in online sales.
ACCI calls for unfair dismissal rules to be dumped for small business in Productivity Commission submission
Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees should be exempt from unfair dismissal laws, according to a submission to the Productivity Commission’s industrial relations review by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
ACCI has made 14 recommendations to the commission, which is says together would “create a balanced framework” for Australian businesses.
The business group is calling for reform of the penalty rates system, which is says “no longer reflects community standards”, as well as a more flexible safety net for employees. ACCI is also pushing for the Fair Work Act, which is made up of 950 sections, to be simplified, along with the nation’s 122 workplace awards.
“We cannot afford to tinker around the edges,” said ACCI chief executive Kate Carnell in a statement.
“Instead, we must complete the evolution from the centralised system of compulsory conciliation and arbitration to a 21st century system flexible enough to meet the needs of a diverse range of businesses, industries and locations.”
Shares up on open
Aussie shares have made strong gains this morning, off the back of gains on Wall Street overnight.
Tristan K’Nell, head of trading at Quay Equities, said in a statement US stocks rallied after a “quite dovish” statement from US Federal Reserve as to the timing of any interest rate hike.
“Market turnover into lunch was $3.475 billion, however, it is exaggerated due to index option expiry,” K’Nell said.
“This afternoon we could see the market run out of steam. It has run very hard in the morning session so expect some profit taking in the afternoon. This combining with no major economic news due to release in the Asian pacific region and it could be a quieter afternoon.”
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 97.8 points to 5940.1 points at 12.08pm AEDT. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 227.11 points higher, up 1.27% to 18076.2 points.