New home sales rise in March: Midday roundup

New home sales continued to rise in March, according to the latest information from the Housing Industry Association.

The HIA’s latest New Home Sales report found seasonally adjusted sales rose 4.2% in March.

Sales of multi-units rose by 5.6% for the month, following a decline of 11% during February. Sales of detached homes increased by 3.9%.

HIA economist Harley Dale says the market is still facing excessive tax and regulatory costs, which will affect any recovery.

“It is vital that in Australia’s deteriorating budgetary environment there is a keen focus on spending constraint, although a myopic attack on current legislated policies which are making a positive economic contribution should be avoided,” Dale says.

Telstra reiterates full-year guidance

Telstra has reiterated its full-year guidance saying it expects low single digit earnings and income growth for the year.

Deputy chief financial officer Mark Hall told a Sydney conference today the company will maintain its guidance.

“Our outlook for EBITDA growth (this year) is at the top end of the (low single digit growth) guidance range,” Hall said, according to Business Spectator.

Shares fall on weak offshore leads

The Australian sharemarket has opened lower this morning, following weak leads from offshore markets.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 26 points or 0.5% to 5,165 at 11.45 AEST, while in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 21 points or 0.1% to 14,839.

Kathmandu sales rise in third quarter

Kathmandu has said its total store sales for the quarter ending April 28 came to $89.7 million, up by 12.5% from the previous corresponding quarter.

Same-store sales increased by 4.1% year-on-year.

In a statement, company chief executive Peter Halkett says the strength of the company “should deliver a strong profit outcome for 2013”.

“Kathmandu’s overall earnings growth for the full year in FY13 is expected to be underpinned by the continuation of growth in the Australian market, attributable to improving brand penetration and the performance of new stores opened during the year,” the company states.

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