Palmer apologises to ambassador over Chinese slur; RCG Corporation posts record profit as The Athlete’s Foot kicks goals: Midday Roundup

Palmer apologises to ambassador over Chinese slur; RCG Corporation posts record profit as The Athlete's Foot kicks goals: Midday Roundup

Billionaire Clive Palmer has this morning issued a formal apology to Ma Zhaoxu, the Chinese ambassador to Australia, over his comments on the ABC last Monday.

In an episode of Q&A, the mining-magnate-turned-politician labelled the Chinese government “bastards” and “mongrels” who “shoot their own people”.

The comments drew widespread condemnation from Australian political figures, including Treasurer Joe Hockey and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and have been suggested by some as potential snag in Australia’s negotiations for a free trade agreement with China.

Palmer said today he sincerely apologises for “any insult to Chinese people caused by any of the language I used during my appearance on … Q&A”.

“I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater understanding for peace and cooperation in the future,” he said.

“We must always have an open mind; an open mind allows us to put ourselves in the other person’s position and brings greater understanding and less conflict to the world,” said Palmer.

“In keeping an open mind, I now come to the realisation that what I said on Q&A was an insult to Chinese people everywhere and I wish to assure them they have my most genuine and sincere apology, that I am sorry that I said the things I said on the program.”

RCG Corporation posts record profit as Athlete’s Foot kicks goals

RCG Corporation, the parent company of footwear chain The Athlete’s Foot, has reported its financials for the full year, announcing another record profit.

The company’s net profit after tax rose 11.2% to $11.8 million for the 2014 financial year, while it consolidated its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by 12% to $16.9 million.

RCG’s flagship brand The Athlete’s Foot posted like-for-like sales growth of 2.7% for the year, with total group sales up 3.0% to $210.7m.

Chief executive of RCG Corporation, Hilton Brett, said: “Given the exceptionally challenging environment that The Athlete’s Foot has operated in, we are pleased with the results. TAF has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to thrive during tough market conditions.”

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher this morning, following solid overnight gains on international markets that offset concerns about continuing declines in the price of iron ore.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 6.5 points to 5641.4 points at 12.17pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 75.65 points higher, up 0.44% to 17076.9 points.

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