Flight Centre picks up Topdeck Tours as net profit tumbles; Mobil agrees not to use petrol price website for five years: Midday Roundup

Flight Centre picks up Topdeck Tours as net profit tumbles; Mobil agrees not to use petrol price website for five years: Midday Roundup

Flight Centre has posted a full-year net profit of $206.92 million, down 16% from $246.08 million a year earlier, as it announced plans to acquire a 90% stake in UK-based tour operator Topdeck Tours.

Flight Centre delivered an underlying profit of $367.5 million, up 10% on a year earlier, with the group currently appealing an $11 million fine for anti-competitive behaviour from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The proposed takeover deal values Topdeck at £21.84 million ($A38.8 million), with a further contingent payment of £4.16 million. The deal will see Topdeck managing director James Nathan retain the remaining 10% in the company.

Flight Centre co-founders and owners Graham Turner and Geoff Harris both owned a stake in Topdeck Tours already with Turner helping to found the company back in 1973.

Mobil agrees not to use petrol price website for five years

Service station owner Mobil has agreed not to use petrol price comparison website Informed Sources for five years, following legal proceedings against the website initiated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC said on Tuesday it has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Mobil Oil Australia that it will not subscribe to Informed Sources, a website which collates data from services stations and provides reports on petrol prices in particular regions of Australia.

The agreement from Mobil follows court proceedings launched by the competition watchdog last week against Informed Sources and BP, Caltex, Coles Express, Woolworths and 7-Eleven, which it says used the site to monitor and respond to each others prices on an almost real time basis.

Mobil, which subscribed to Informed Sources until October 2010 when it sold off its Australian retail assets, has also agreed not to use any similar electronic services that would allow it to share and access information about prices from other subscribers.

The enforceable undertaking means Mobil will not be included in the ACCC’s legal action against the petrol retailers and Informed Sources.

Shares up on open

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, with overnight news from the US and Europe was helping local markets.

 “In the US, economic statistics continue to be consistent with a scenario of steady economic growth. Consumer confidence is improving as concerns about the labour market, while still high, reached the lowest levels for this expansion,” said CMC markets chief market analyst Ric Spooner.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 7.6 points or 0.1% to 5645.2 points at 12.17 AEST. Overnight, the Dow Jones closed up 29.83 points, or 0.17%, to 17106.7 points.

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