Virgin posts first-half loss; Woolworths profits up 14.5%: Midday Roundup

Virgin Australia Holdings has posted a first-half loss for the year ending December 31, 2013, joining rival Qantas as an unprofitable airline.

In the six months to December 31, Virgin posted a net loss of $83.7 million – down from a profit of $23 million for the previous corresponding period.

Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said in a statement the airline’s results were due to tough trading conditions across the entire industry.

“The Australian aviation market continues to be impacted by the significant capacity growth which occurred during the 2013 financial year,” he said. Lashing out at Australia’s price on carbon, Borghetti went on to say that these factors were compounded by “the inability to recover the cost of the carbon tax”.

Woolworths profits up 14.5%

Woolworths has recorded a first-half profit of $1.3 billion, up 14.5% for the previous corresponding period.

However, at 11.45am the company’s shares were valued at $35.45, 2.66% lower than on open.

The group will pay an interim dividend of 65 cents to shareholders on April 24.

Shares flat on open

Aussie shares have opened slightly lower this morning, despite analysts predicting a positive start to the day.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 2 points to 5409.4 points at 11:55am AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones was down 74.24 points, 0.46% lower at 16,272.65.

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