Monthly Archives:July 2019

Engineering firm Downer EDI’s first half profit has grown by 11 per cent and the company has maintained its expectation of a profit rise for the full year.
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Downer EDI made a net profit of $94 million in the six months to December 31, up from $84.9 million in the previous corresponding period. Revenue in the six months to December of $4.4 billion was up 18 per cent from $3.71 billion in the same period in the previous year.

The company re-affirmed its forecast for an underlying net profit of around $210 million in the 2012-13 financial year, after it rose by 24 per cent in the first half to $105.5 million.

Chief executive Grant Fenn said the results showed an improved performance from all areas of Downer EDI’s business.

‘‘Each of our three divisions achieved substantial revenue growth, underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) has grown over 12 per cent and our cash performance was strong once again,’’ Mr Fenn said in a statement. ‘‘We have continued to build momentum in our operational and financial performance.’’

Downer EDI operates business in infrastructure, mining and rail. The company is manufacturing new trains for Sydney’s rail network, known as Waratah Trains.

After many problems and delays, production was now at the required rate to complete the project on time, Mr Fenn said.

‘‘We remain on track to deliver the 78th Waratah train in mid-2014,’’ he said.

The company declared an interim dividend of 10 cents per share, 70 per cent franked.Downer EDI did not pay an interim dividend last year.

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US stocks drifted in light volume on Wednesday, ending little changed, as investors remained cautious after the S&P 500 index briefly hit its highest intraday level since November 2007.
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The S&P 500 was buoyed by General Electric after cable company Comcast Corp said it will buy from GE the the part of NBCUniversal it didn’t already own for $US16.7 billion.

Comcast’s stock hit the highest since 1999 before closing up 3 per cent at $US40.13 and GE gained 3.6 per cent to $US23.39.

The S&P 500 is up 6.6 per cent so far this year, partly due to stronger-than-expected corporate earnings and a better economic outlook. The Dow industrials is about 1 per cent away from an all-time intraday high, reached in October 2007.

Volume has been weak in recent days with the S&P moving sideways around 1520. The index is about 3 per cent away from closing at a record high.

A scarcity of sellers after a consistent string of gains is a positive sign and shows the uptrend is intact, King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco, said.

“Last year we had double-digit returns in the first quarter. It’s fairly possible we can move higher from here,” he said.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 35.79 points or 0.3 per cent, to 13,982.91, the S&P 500 gained 0.9 point or 0.06 per cent, to 1520.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 10.38 points or 0.33 per cent, to 3196.88.

The S&P gained 12 per cent in the first three months of 2012.

Deere & Co, the world’s largest farm equipment maker, forecast a modest increase in sales this year despite the prospect of the biggest corn crop in US history. The forecast fell short of analysts’ expectations, sending shares of Deere down 3.5 per cent to $US90.68.

In extended trading, shares of technology bellwether Cisco Systems fell 2 per cent after it posted results.

Dr Pepper Snapple fell 5.8 per cent to $US42.69 after it forecast profit for the current year below analysts’ estimates.

Cliffs Natural Resources lost a fifth of its market value a day after the miner reported a quarterly loss and slashed its dividend by 76 per cent. Its shares fell 20 per cent to 429.29.

According to the latest Thomson Reuters data, of the 364 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 70.3 per cent have exceeded analysts’ expectations, above a 62 per cent average since 1994 and 65 per cent over the past four quarters.

About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and NYSE MKT, below the daily average in February last year of 6.94 billion.

On the NYSE, roughly seven issues rose for every five that fell and on Nasdaq more than six rose for every five decliners.

Reuters

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Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf will re-sign with the WNBL club after Basketball Australia confirmed she would stand down as national coach of the Australian Opals.
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Basketball Australia revealed on Twitter the Opals job will be a full-time role for the first time in over a decade.

Graf will also fill a role as a coach in residence at University of Canberra, a new role established after Basketball Australia’s lengthy review.

It is believed Graf’s Capitals contract will be for up to three seasons.

Locking in Graf is a great relief for the Capitals, given she has coached them to six of their seven championships.

Choosing not to renominate for the Opals role will give her far more time to help restore Canberra as a WNBL force, given it has missed the finals for a second straight season.

Graf became Opals coach in late 2008, guiding the team to bronze at last year’s London Olympics.

The new Opals coach will also be head of the women’s program at the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence in Canberra.

Graf’s new role as an adjunct professor of sports studies at the University of Canberra will involve her offering support and mentoring university sports teams, lecturing and working with sports researchers.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker said Graf would make a big contribution to education, research and social life at the university.

“Carrie Graf’s unrivalled professional experience will be an asset to the University’s teaching and research in sports studies and coaching, but I’m pleased that she’ll also play a part in student sport at all levels,” Professor Parker said.

“It is another way we can give life on campus at the University of Canberra the edge over other universities.”

Graf said in a statement she was honoured to be the university’s first coach in residence.

“I know I’m biased in saying this, but I don’t think there’s a city in Australia as staunchly supportive of their sports as Canberra,” Graf said.

“It’s heartening to see the university giving back to the community yet again by bringing on its first ever coach in residence, and I’m humbled to have been approached for the role.”Follow The Canberra Times Sport on Twitter

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
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Locals in the NSW town ofOrange are abuzz with gossip about the former mining minister, who appears to have fallen on hard times.

On Tuesday, Ian Macdonald told the inquiry he had been too busy to read all the transcripts of the evidence, saying: ”I do cleaning and work associated with a shop and I’m pretty busy.” Yesterday, he said again he had been occupied because ”I have to earn a living”.

Several people have spotted the 63-year-old former minister at a premium greengrocers, Fresh on Woodward, an attractive small shop that specialises in fresh produce and gourmet preserves.

Annette Nunn, who owns the butcher shop next door, said Mr Macdonald’s wife, the former bureaucrat Anita Gylseth, had been working in the grocery most days of the week, but Mr Macdonald did not seem to do much.

”I couldn’t tell you what he does there,” Ms Nunn said. ”I see him sitting out the front talking … He might take boxes out the back occasionally.”

The owner of the grocery shop, Margot Connors, said she could not comment.

But a friend of Ms Connors told Fairfaxthe Macdonalds had intended to buy the business, but could not get a bank loan. She had been told they now hoped to lease it.

Mr Macdonald has certainly had trouble with the bank. In evidence before the ICAC on Wednesday, he explained that when he sold his home in Northbridge, anything he had left over was ploughed into paying off some of the mortgage he had over his farm on Canobolas Road in Orange.

Pressed about how he was going to repay a questionable loan to a friend’s company, Mr Macdonald said: ”I haven’t got the funds to pay it unless I sell my property, and I’ve been in the process of selling my property, properties for over a year.”

Curiously, Fairfax Regional Mediareported this week that Mr Macdonald had in fact recently taken his property off the market.

When contacted by telephone, Ms Gylseth declined to clarify the arrangement regarding the grocery shop.

”I am not interested in you getting a story right,” she said. ”You disgust me.”

Ms Nunn said she and her husband were not impressed by the evidence that had been given to the inquiry.

”He can go and jump in the lake as far as we’re concerned.”

Ian Macdonald arrives at the ICAC inquiry on February 12. Photo: ROB HOMER

Katie Peters was killed fighting a bushfire in northern Victoria on Wednesday.Source: The Border Mail
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The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) have named 19-year-old Katie Peters, from Tallandoon, as one of the two front-line firefighters who died yesterday battling the Harrietville fire in eastern Victoria.

The DSE are still contacting relatives of a 29-year-old man from Corryong,the fire firefighter who died alongside Ms Peters.

It’s understood the accident occurred in a remote front of the fire when the pair’s emergency vehicle was struck by a falling tree.

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Katie Peters had been with DSE for two seasons as a Project Fire Fighter, joining DSE as her first paid job after taking a year off after Year 12 to travel overseas.

In a statement released by DSE, they said Ms Peters was always prepared to have a go and was the first one to put her hand up to drive a tanker or use the chainsaw.

“She loved animals and was planning to be a vet.

“She made time for everyone – she loved working with her colleagues and was incredibly down-to-earth.”

As part of a feature on female fire-fighters recently, Katie spoke of how much she enjoyed the previous season, with one of the highlights attending a bushfire in remote terrain at King’s Spur, south east of Dartmouth Dam.

DSE Chief Fire Officer Alan Goodwin said the loss of Ms Peters and her colleague was a tragedy.

“This is devastating news and the loss of staff is a tragedy under any circumstances. Even one death is not acceptable. I would like to personally extend my sympathies and DSE’s sympathies to their families and friends.’ Mr Goodwin said

“Our continuing focus is on the safety and wellbeing of our staff, our agency partners – CFA, Parks Victoria and DPI – and interstate and international colleagues (NSW and NZ) who are assisting us to fight fires across the state.’

Support is being offered to his DSE colleagues and senior DSE staff are in Harrietville to provide support and counselling for the crews.

Theincident was witnessed by the son of Towong Council deputy mayor David Wortmann.

“My 19-year-old son was in the crew,” Mr Wortmanntold ABC Radio on Wednesday.

“The vehicle in front of my son, a tree fell on it and the two firefighters were killed.”

He said the girl, a university student, was from an outstanding family.

“I just felt so sorry for him and his crew to have witnessed and experienced such a tragedy,” he said.

Police say the pair were struck by the falling tree around 3.35pm (AEDT) and it took until after 8pm to reach them because of the fire and hazardous conditions.

Today, flags will be flown at half-mast on Victorian government buildings.

Premier Ted Baillieu says the flags will be lowered as a mark of respect for the pair.

“The tragic loss of these two firefighters will affect all those who have been fighting these fires and protecting Victorian communities,” he said.

“My thoughts and the thoughts of all Victorians are with their families and loved ones at this time.”

Australian Workers Union Victorian secretary Cesar Melhem yesterday said DSE firefighters were “unsung heroes”.

He said there was little recognition of their work as what they did behind fire lines was rarely seen.

“They work in the most horrific conditions imaginable,” he said.

“They work away from the big centres, out in the bush, and with very little recognition for their heroic contribution to this state,” he said.

“They have died heroes, which will be small comfort to those who grieve for them.”

The member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, last night said she was deeply saddened by the devastating news of the firefighters’ death.

“This is shattering for their family, friends and the community,” Mrs Mirabella said.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with them.”

DSE and CFA firefighters had been making the most of mild weather conditions, working around the clock to control hotspots and build containment lines.

They have faced a continual challenge to get into isolated areas where the fire is burning.

Earlier yesterday, Ovens incident controller Tony Long said crews had had to trek for more than two hours to get to areas to build control lines.

“Where crews can’t walk into the affected areas, we use rappel crews to go down from a hovering helicopter, carrying their gear, to put out hot spots,” he said.

The Harrietville fire has burnt 27,000 hectares since it was started by lightning on January 21.

Mr Long said it would burn until the Alpine region received rain.

The deaths come a month after Peter Cramer, a DSE firefighter and CFA volunteer from Tyers in Gippsland, died working on bushfires in Tasmania.

Mr Cramer, 61, died on January 13 at Taranna, east of Hobart. He was scouting for possible containment lines on the southern boundary of the fire near Forcett.