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World of the News

Posted: September 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: World of the News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

World of the NewsThe global behemoth that is News (Ltd + International) is creeking and groaning under it’s own size as it attempts to reform itself for the digital age, changing the way it does business, answering for the way it’s done business and comes to terms with the trouble it’s had downsizing it’s business.

In the UK, the saga of phone-hacking goes on with Former News International chief Rebekah Brooks has appeared briefly in a London court, accused of conspiring to hack phones. As well as Brooks, former legal manager of Rupert Murdoch’s News International has been arrested in connection with the phone hacking scandal. In Australia the behemoth has not announced that up to 80 more editing and reporting jobs will be cut from News Limited, including dozens across Queensland.

The once golden Nine stable of multimedia products has dipped further into trouble times. Nine Entertainment has announced the sale of ACP Magazines- Australia’s largest stable of print based media –  to German media giant Bauer. The sale is reported to be worth about $500 million and is expected to be finalised in the next one to two months.

Mega wealthy – non-smoking tea toatler – Gina Rinehart puts her 50c $2 worth into the cost of labour debate.

No post would be complete without comment on Julian Assange, his latest antics – stuck within the shrinking walls of the Eucadorian Embassy in London – Mr Assange, or Our Jullian as we like to refer, is prepping himself for a 12 month camp-out as he steadies himself for waht looks like a very long fight. At what point does one need to ask the question; ‘surely he’d be done with the fight if he’d gone to Sweden 3 years ago?’

In proof that there is still some value in old-school communication devices, a Scottish fishing boat’s skipper has found a message in a bottle, 98 years after it was released. The bottle was released by the Glasgow School of Navigation in 1914 as part of an experiment to map the currents in the sea off the Scottish coast :: Read the full article »»»»


Australian Retailers Still Concerned Despite Mild Upturn

Posted: February 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business News | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Retailers Still Concerned Despite Mild UpturnOur least favorite retailer Harvey Norman’s half-year profits have slipped amid intense competition in the retail sector, consumer caution and a slowing economy. Net profit came in at $129 million, down 2 per cent on the year before. The discount retailer also reported falling sales in the period, with same-store sales in its Australian shops down 6.5 per cent, while the chain’s European outlets saw a slide of 15 per cent.

Co-founder and chairman Gerry Harvey says his company is struggling, as are many other retailers. “You are now seeing more retailers go broke and out of business than I have ever seen in my life,” Mr Harvey said. “In the last 12 months you have seen Colorado, Dick Smith and Retravision. This technology area in retail is really under huge pressure, so we have to reposition, because if we don’t we’ll end up going out the back door like WOW.”

Electronics chain WOW Superstores was placed in receivership on Monday with debts of more than $25 million.  Administrators say WOW Audio Visual Superstores could be salvaged if a buyer is found quickly. The electronics retailer has been placed into receivership with debts of more than $25 million. WOW launched its first store in Townsville in north Queensland nine years ago and currently operates 15 stores across Australia. Ten are in Queensland. The company employs 500 staff across Australia. James Stewart from administrators Ferrier Hodgson says everything will be done to save the chain. Read the full article »»»»


Retail Sales Remain in the Doldrums

Posted: January 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business News | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Australian retail sales were flat in November, falling short of expectations, despite the Reserve Bank cutting interest rates for the first time in 2.5 years that month. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for the month show retail turnover was unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis at $20.93 million. The result was well below economists’ expectations of a rise of 0.4 per cent for the period, extending a downward trend in the sector that began in August.

Australia Retail Sales Remain in the Doldrums - David JonesThere was an increase of 0.4 per cent in the category that includes books and newspapers, sports goods and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and a rise of 0.1 per cent in cafes and restaurants. Sales of food and household goods remained unchanged, but turnover fell 0.4 per cent in clothing and footwear and 0.1 per cent in department stores.

But UBS senior economist George Tharenou says the retail figures understate overall consumer spending in the past year. “Consumers have been shifting their spending patterns particularly towards things like overseas travel, with the very high currency, and other areas of services,” Tharenou said. “The online presence is also an issue, where the data may not be fully capturing the extent of spending.”

Australian Retailers’ Association executive director Russell Zimmerman told The World Today he expects sales figures from last Christmas to be better than in 2010 – but only just. “Overall, I think it was fairly much as we predicted,” Zimmerman said. “We predicted a $39.5 billion pre-Christmas and we have predicted about $14.1 billion post-Christmas sales, and we think we are pretty much on-track to see that happen.

In a further sign of consumer caution plaguing the sector, the retailers’ association says shops are offering lay-bys again, as consumers become more careful with how they spend their money. Read the full article »»»»