Qantas reveals $2.8 billion loss; 40,000 households and businesses affected by electrical cable recall: Midday Roundup

Qantas reveals $2.8 billion loss; 40,000 households and businesses affected by electrical cable recall: Midday Roundup

Qantas has revealed an underlying loss before tax of $646 million and a statutory loss after tax of $2.8 billion for the 2013-14 financial year.

The airline said the result was driven by the cumulative impact of two years of industry capacity growth ahead of demand, leading to a $566 million decline in revenue for the financial year.

It also pointed to record Australian dollar fuel costs, which set the company back $4.5 billion for the 12 month period, up $253 million from previous financial year.

In response to the figures, Qantas said a recovery in the company’s earnings will put its balance sheet back in the black.

“There is no doubt today’s numbers are confronting, but they represent the year that is past,” said chief executive Alan Joyce.

“We have now come through the worst.  With our accelerated Qantas Transformation program we are already emerging as a leaner, more focused and more sustainable Qantas Group.”

40,000 households and businesses affected by electrical cable recall

Nineteen electrical retailers and wholesalers have recalled thousands of electrical cables that failed to meet electrical safety standards.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Wednesday it estimates 40,000 households and businesses could be affected by the recall of the cables, which were supplied in all states and territories except the Northern Territory.

The Infinity cables, sourced from a company called Infinity Cable Co, were sold by 18 Masters Home Improvement stores and one independent wholesaler between 2010-2013 in NSW, between 2011-13 in the ACT, 2012-13 in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, and in 2013 in Tasmania.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the recall is being co-ordinated by a taskforce of consumer agencies, building regulators and electrical safety regulators.

“Testing has found that the cables will degrade prematurely and if the cables are disturbed, the insulation could break and expose live conductors, resulting in possible electric shock or fires,” Sims said in a statement.

Households and businesses that had electrical work carried out during the relevant periods of time are urged to contact the responsible builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer to see if the cabling was used.

Further information is on the ACCC website.

Shares down on open

Aussie shares have opened slightly lower this morning, following a relatively uneventful night on Wall Street.

“Yet another plunge in the price of iron ore is set to weigh on the Australian sharemarket this morning,” said CMC Markets sales trader Niall King.

“With little in the way of overseas leads to lean on following a flat finish on major equity markets, yesterday’s steady domestic performance is likely to be difficult to back up.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 20.6 points to 5630.6 points at 12.10pm AEST. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 15.31 points higher, up 0.09% to 17122 points.

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