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Specialty retailers help fuel GPT’s growth

International specialty retailers, including Sephora and consumer electronic players JB Hi-Fi and Apple are offsetting department stores’ sales declines, shopping centre owner GPT Group says. GPT Group, which owns Australia Square in Sydney and Melbourne Central and Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne, has posted a 10 per cent lift in full-year profit to $1.27 billion….

RBA’s Ellis tips wages to grow, eventually

The Reserve Bank expects wage growth to pick up eventually even though companies are currently reluctant to raise salaries for fear of becoming uncompetitive. Employers have cut costs in the face of strong competition but early signs of labour shortages and an inability to further trim margins mean that they will eventually have to raise…

Transurban buoyed by Trump building plan

Transurban has racked up a near fourfold increase in first-half profit and the toll road operator is looking for more to come thanks to US President Donald Trump’s planned infrastructure splurge. The toll road giant made a $331 million profit in the six months to December 31 – up from $88 million the previous corresponding…

ACOSS chief rejects tax cut mantra

A leading welfare advocate says the Turnbull government should not be pursuing business and personal tax cuts when the budget can’t afford it and essential services are being slashed to pay for them. Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie also rejects the government’s mantra that a cut in the business tax rate…

Boral to benefit from infrastructure spend

Boral has flagged growth in its full-year earnings on the back of a wave of infrastructure projects in Australia and market growth in its US operations. The building materials supplier’s profit rose 13 per cent in the first half of the financial year to $173 million, but growth was capped by significant items, including $41…

Water: Why the taps run dry

The world has abundant freshwater but it is unevenly distributed and under increasing pressure, UN agencies say, as highlighted by the severe shortages in Cape Town.Water, water ‘everywhere’More than 97 percent of the planet’s water is salty, most of it in the oceans and seas, but there is also a good supply of freshwater.Every year…

Leases rise to 16½ year highs

Lease loans rise to 16½-year highsBusiness survey; Consumer sentiment; Lending financeBusiness survey: The NAB business conditions index rose from +12.8 points to +18.9 points in January – the fourth best monthly outcome on record. The business confidence index rose from a downwardly revised +9.6 points (previously: +11.1 points) to +11.8 points – the highest level…

Auction volumes rise, Sydney prices fall

Auction volumes across Australia’s capital cities bounced back last week from their post-Christmas lull, but Sydney home values fell again. Preliminary figures released Monday by property data group CoreLogic showed the national auction clearance rate rose to 67.7 per cent in the week to February 11, up from 62 per cent in the prior week…

Aust shares end lower but US futures up

The Australian share market has closed lower but did claw back some earlier losses as the Dow Jones futures index pointed to a possible positive session on US markets tonight. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 stock index ended Monday down 17.3 points, or 0.3 per cent at 5,820.7 points, with all sectors except for information technology and…

JB Hi-Fi shares slump on margin warning

JB Hi-Fi shares have slumped despite a big lift in first-half profit, after the home electronics and entertainment retailer issued lower-than-expected guidance and warned of margin pressures to come. Net profit for the six months to December 31 surged 37.4 per cent to a record $151.7 million after healthy Christmas sales across a store network…