Australia Channel
2019-01-30 16:53

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BHP Group Ltd (BHP): 
BHP has told the market it is still yet to reach an agreement with Samarco on its financial obligations relating to the 2015 mine disaster. It comes as clean up for a new Brazilian mine collapse continues - owned solely by Brazil’s Vale, which owns half of Samarco. “The restart of Samarco’s operations will occur only if it is safe, economically viable and has the support of the community. Resuming operations requires the granting of licences by state and federal authorities and community hearings, among other requirements,” BHP said in the statement. 

Coles Group Ltd (COL): 
Uber Eats has announced it is linking up with Coles to trial home deliveries of some of the supermarket giant’s ready-to-eat meals. The food delivery platform said the experiment would start on Tuesday at a Coles in the southern Sydney suburb of Pagewood and customers would be able to order items such as roast chicken, deli salads, bakery items and frozen desserts as well as ready-to-heat meals including pizzas, curries and pies. “We believe this trial will complement the current Coles Online offering by delivering meals in an average of less than 30 minutes, which can be tracked in the Uber Eats app from the time of order to drop-off,” Uber Eats regional general manager Jodie Auster said in a statement. “Coles will be the first supermarket to partner with Uber Eats in Australia, giving our customers healthy choices at competitive prices delivered right to their door,” Coles Director of Fresh Food Alex Freudmann said. The trial is restricted to Uber Eats customers ordering from the Coles Pagewood store and has a delivery fee of $5 per order.

Credit Corp Group Limited (CCP): 
Debt collector Credit Corp is trading at 4-month highs after reporting first half profit growth of 13 per cent, driven by strength in its consumer lending and US business segments and upgraded its full year outlook. In a note to the market, it said the two segments had exceeded expectations and the core Australia and New Zealand debt buying segment sustained near-record collections. The group reported 13 per cent growth in net profit to $33.6 million and a 18 per cent growth in its consumer loan book to $203 million. As such, Credit Corp revised higher its profit growth in the range of 7 to 9 per cent to between $69m and $70m. “We have seen some very high prices being paid for purchased debt ledgers (PDLs) by competitors. Our response is to remain disciplined and prepare ourselves for better opportunities in the periods ahead,” chief Thomas Beregi said. 

Eclipx Group Ltd (ECX): 
Fleet management provider Eclipx has flagged a dent to its profit guidance thanks to weakness in its insolvency and industrial auction arm and softer retail market conditions. In a note to the market, it said it was forecasting net profit for the year ended September 30 in line with that of the prior year at $78.1 million. It comes as the company fields a takeover offer from McMillan Shakespeare to create a $2.1 billion salary packaging and fleet management company, first revealed late last year. Now, Eclipx says the deal will go ahead but that MMS will need more time to consider its next steps including “appropriate disclosure, additional risks and any impact on the future Combined Group, and scheme timetable, and has reserved its rights”.

Incitec Pivot Ltd (IPL): 
Industrial explosives maker Incitec Pivot Ltd says unplanned outages at two of its plants are expected to impact its earnings before interest and tax for fiscal 2019. The company flagged an impact of about $45 million to its annual earnings for the year to September 30, due to unplanned downtime at its Louisiana and Phosphate Hill plants. The company’s annual ammonium phosphate production will also be impacted by the outages, it added. 

National Australia Bank Ltd (NAB): 
National Australia Bank will introduce large fee cuts across -selected investment platforms in its wealth unit, amid heightened scrutiny of bank charges and following similar moves by rival Westpac. But the decision comes at an interesting juncture for NAB, as the bank seeks to spin off its MLC Wealth division this year through a sharemarket float or by handing shares to investors in a demerger. The NAB fee reductions see administration charges on MLC’s retail Wrap Series 2 platforms halved to 0.15 per cent per annum on balances between $200,000 and $500,000, and a 40 per cent cut for balances above $500,000 to 0.03 per cent per annum. Wraps are a type of investment platform that let customers hold all their managed funds and direct shares together and allow centralised tax and performance reporting. Wealth groups, including the big four banks, have come under fire during the Hayne royal commission for charging hefty fees to customers in the superannuation and investments industry, while in many cases charging advice for services never received.

Redbubble Ltd (RBL): 
Online apparel printing and design group Redbubble has taken off on run after it told the ASX it delivered operating EBITDA of $5.6 million and free cash flow of $25.6 million for the first half of FY2019. Redbubble shares last traded up 15 per cent at 13c each. The tech company says it is on track for positive result on both measures for full year. Redbubble said it delivered improved gross margins due to strategic pricing and supply chain gains and operating expense discipline. Interestingly, Redbubble hit out at Google, saying second quarter sales from search slowed because of changes in Google’s search algorithm. 

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited (SKC): 
Listed casino operator SkyCity has flagged higher full-year earnings thanks to better-than-expected conditions at its casinos and entertainment complexes. In an update to the market ahead of its interim results, the company said that strength in its Auckland and international businesses had helped it notch better results for the half-year through December. That was partly due to a lower win rate in its international business, which was 0.98 per cent for the period, below the theoretical win rate of 1.35 per cent and down on the 1.7 per cent win rate for the first half a year prior. “Reflecting the expected performance in the first half, SkyCity now expects that earnings for the full year to 30 June 2019 will be slightly ahead of the previous guidance for modest growth in normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation,” the company said. Still, the company said that earnings growth in second-half would be harder to achieve given the improved performance achieved in corresponding period last year.

Star Entertainment Group Ltd (SGR): 
The Star Gold Coast has unveiled plans to build an open-air concert venue in the hope of luring a greater number of local and international acts to the sunny shores. Plans for the multi-million-dollar venue show a world-class structure that is hoped to place the Coast in a stronger position to compete with Australia’s major capital cities fort hot musical acts. Star Entertainment Group chief executive Matt Bekier said the company had been in discussion with music industry leaders who had welcomed the proposal. “This outdoor venue could provide a real point of difference for the coast,” Mr Bekier said. “An outdoor venue that can stage concerts of small and large scale would further enhance the Gold Coast as a music destination.” 

TPG Telecom Ltd (TPM): 
TPG Telecom has pulled the plug on its mobile network, citing the banning of Chinese equipment maker Huawei from participating in 5G mobile rollouts as the main reason for the decision. The telco announced plans to build a $600 million mobile network in 2017, with Huawei as its principal equipment vendor. However, TPG said on Tuesday that the federal government’s decision prohibits the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks last year had closed the doors for the telco to push on with its network rollout. TPG boss David Teoh said that government intervention had forced the telco’s hand to rethink how much it could spend on its planned mobile network. “It is extremely disappointing that the clear strategy the company had to become a mobile network operator at the forefront of 5G has been undone by factors outside of TPG’s control,” he said.
(Source: AIMS)
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