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Australian Business News

RBA pays dividend after posting $1bn profit

AuBJ – 20 September – The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has paid the federal government a $500 million dividend after posting its first profit in years. The RBA recorded an accounting profit of $1 billion in the 12 months to 30 June, following a loss of almost $5 billion in 2011. Yet its under... Read More

David Jones profit plummets 40 per cent

AuBJ – 19 September – Australian department store chain David Jones’ annual profit has fallen 40 per cent, providing further proof the retail sector is suffering as shoppers remain reluctant to spend. The retailer’s net profit for the 2011/12 financial year was $101.1 million, down from $168... Read More

Cattle exports still suffering after 2011’s ban

AuBJ – 18 September – Recent statistics show that Western Australia’s cattle industry is still struggling after last year’s furore over live exports to Indonesia. WA has exported fewer than 120,000 animals this year – less than half the number sold in 2011. The situation began when the Ind... Read More

Mining at risk unless policy changes

AuBJ – 17 September – High costs and increased sovereign risk are damaging the competitiveness of domestic mining in Australia, according to a report. Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitchell Hooke says Australia’s policies must change if it is to compete with emerging resource n... Read More

MRRT causes spate of coal mining job losses

AuBJ – 14 September – Following announcements on Monday that Xstrata Coal and BHP Billiton are collectively axing 900 workers, Brazilian miner Vale is following suit. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Vale’s decision to lay-off workers at its coal operations was due to a rise in the MRRT ... Read More

Australia lacks competitiveness, says report

AuBJ – 5 September – For the second year in a row Australia has ranked 20th in the World Economic Forum’s international productivity league table, just below South Korea and Saudi Arabia. The report cites restrictive labour laws as the main limiting factor, with government regulation, sloppy b... Read More

Retail conditions worse than ever, says KFC operator

AuBJ – 4 September – Collins Foods, which operates KFC and Sizzler restaurants in Australia, has said current trading conditions are the most challenging they’ve ever been. The company says this has contributed to the fall in its share price from $2.50 a year ago, to $1.14 now. Collins Foods c... Read More

Fortescue cuts hundreds of jobs

AuBJ – 4 September – Mining major Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is delaying around AU$1.6 billion of expansion plans and cutting several hundred jobs in an effort to save money. Australia’s third-biggest iron ore producer claimed the cost-cutting measures were necessitated by falling iron ore p... Read More

Homewares retailer suffers 32pc profit slump

AuBJ – 31 August – Electrical and homewares retailer Harvey Norman has reported a 32 per cent fall in full year profit up to 30 June. The retailer made a net profit of $172.5 million in fiscal 2012, compared with $252.3 million the previous year. Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey blamed the sl... Read More

Forrest spends further $39m on FMG shares

AuBJ – 30 August – Andrew Forrest, founder and chairman of mining major Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), has bought almost $39 million of shares in the company over the last two days. The move has been seen as an attempt to improve confidence in FMG as the prices of both iron ore and its own shares... Read More

Work begins on Roy Hill accommodation

AuBJ – 29 August – Australian contractor Brookfield Multiplex has begun construction of the $190 million accommodation village at Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill iron ore project. Construction of the first stage of housing will begin once civil works are complete, with the aim of delivering 400 rooms... Read More

Declining coal power being offset by gas and renewables

AuBJ – 28 August – Australia’s use of renewable energy has grown significantly, according to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE). BREE’s 2012 Australian Energy Update said renewable energy use rose 21 per cent in 2010-11. Consumption of natural gas and oil both increased by s... Read More

Australia behind in cutting carbon emissions

AuBJ – Australia remains the world’s highest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gases, according to a Climate Commission report released this week. Greens leader Christine Milne said the report was a “shocking indictment of what Australia is doing not only to people now, but in the future”. Sh... Read More

BHP abandons Olympic Dam expansion

AuBJ – 22 August – Mining major BHP Billiton has scrapped its AU$28.73 billion Olympic Dam expansion after its profits slumped by more than a third. Had the expansion gone ahead, the open-pit copper and uranium mine would have been one of the world’s largest. BHP chief executive Marius Klopper... Read More

Australians install most solar panels in world

AuBJ – 20 August – Australian homeowners put more solar panels on their roofs than anyone in the world last year, according to new data. The Clean Energy Regulator and International Energy Agency reported that about 392,000 new household solar systems were switched on in Australia last year. Man... Read More

Rinehart in talks to secure Roy Hill funding

AuBJ – 17 August – The Roy Hill iron ore mine took a step closer to becoming a reality with Roy Hill Holdings entering into negotiations with US lender, Export-Import Bank, to secure funding for the AU$9 billion project. Export-Import president Fred Hochberg said the bank planned to lend a furth... Read More