Unemployment remains steady at 5.2% in July: Midday roundup

The unemployment rate remained steady during July, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The unemployment rate remained at 5.2%, although economists had expected a rise to 5.3%.

The figures show the total number of jobs rose by 14,000 or 0.1% to 11,512,600. There was an increase in full-time employment, up by 9,200 to 8,073,700.

Part-time employment also rose by 4,800 to 3,439,000.

Telstra announces profit increase

Telecommunications giant Telstra has recorded a 5.4% increase in full-year profit to $3.4 billion, but a downbeat assessment for the next year has caused shares to fall 2% this morning.

The company said it expects just low single-digit growth in profits during the next year.

Revenue for 2011-12 increased 0.8% to $25 billion, while EBITDA was $10.23 billion, slightly lower than expectations.

“Telstra expects growth to continue in fiscal year 2013 and forecasts low single digit total income and EBITDA growth, with free cashflow between $4.75 and $5.25 billion,” the company said in a statement.

“Telstra expects capital expenditure to be around 15% of sales over the next two years.”

Telstra has focused more on its mobile platforms than fixed-line accounts, and said it has added 1.6 million mobile customers.

Chief executive David Thodey said the company has now experienced two years of customer growth.

“This has translated into strong financial results despite tough domestic and international economic conditions,” he said.

“Our strategy is working and we continue to focus on our priorities of improving customer satisfaction, profitably increasing the number of customers, simplifying the business and finding new growth opportunities.”

Shares flat on job figures, profit results

The Australian sharemarket has opened flat today as investors waited for official figures on unemployment and corporate profit results.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11 points or 0.3% to 4324.5 at 12.00 AEST, while the Australian dollar rose after local job results to $US1.05.

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7 points or 0% to 13,175.6.

News Corp posts $US1.5 billion loss

News Corp has posted a $US1.55 billion loss after writing down the value of its local newspaper business.

The company reported pre-tax write downs of $US2.9 billion in the fourth quarter, “principally related to the company’s publishing businesses, most significantly the Australian operations”.

 

 

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