Woolworths votes to block pokies ban: Midday roundup

A majority of Woolworths shareholders have opposed a move to hinder the distribution of poker machines by the company.

More than 200 shareholders wanted to impose limits on the gaming machines, but the resolution has been struck down.

“The resolution was put forward by the activist group GetUp on behalf of about 200 shareholders who represent about 0.05% of the company’s shareholders and they own about 0.02% of the company’s shares,” chairman James Strong said in a statement.

There were three proposed restrictions, including a maximum bet of $1 at a time, an upper net gambling limit of $120 and an operating restriction for the machines for six hours a day.

“If it is only Woolworths’ hotels that are required to have $1 bet limits in isolation, one obvious outcome would likely be that people who want to bet more than a dollar per spin will simply go to the nearest pub, club or casino not owned by Woolworths where there are no restrictions,” Strong said.

Pandora, Lenard’s win at Retailers’ Association awards

Jewellery chain Pandora has won the Australian Retailers’ Awards top gong for retailer of the year, while chicken franchise Lenard’s has been awarded the innovator of the year award.

In a statement, executive director Russell Zimmerman said the two companies stood out despite tough competition from a range of companies.

“Pandora is a well-established retailer and has used product innovation, concept stores and a watertight marketing strategy to expand its brand offering and stand out from competitors. The plethora of advancements across the board made Pandora the clear winner for this prestigious award,” Zimmerman said.

Other category winners included Jeanswest, Eyeclarity, Oroton, and the Super Retail Group.

Shares higher after positive Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has risen higher this morning after US markets rallied on news of a ceasefire in the Middle East.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 53 points or 1.2% to 4423.2 at 12.00 AEST, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States rose by 48 points or 0.4% to 12,836.9.

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