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THE NEWS WRAP: Woolworths announces growth, new strategy to catch Coles

Friday, 1 February 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Retail giant Woolworths has delivered its second quarter results, showing that while it reported steady growth during the quarter, rival Coles is pulling further ahead.

 

Woolworths’ food and liquor business posted a 2.5% increase in same-store sales during the quarter, to $10.3 billion, with total sales up 4.8%.

 

The retail giant announced a new strategy, which will include investing in its core food and grocery business and ending costly promotions at its Big W discount variety store chain, in a bid to close the gap with Coles.

 

Australia at risk from Chinese over-investment: Standard& Poor’s

 

Australia is exposed to the “overhang” of over-investment as a result of China’s post-GFC stimulus spending, according to a new report from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.

 

The report warns that over-investment can lead to a significant correction, and that economic spending levels are reaching similar proportions to those typically seen before a major financial crisis.

 

According to the report, China has the highest investment-to-GDP ratio in the world, with Australia exposed to a slowdown in investment through the resources sector.

 

Investors circle around Mothercare Australia

 

Administrators BRI Ferrier expect to find a group of interested buyers in the aftermath of the collapse of baby products retailer Mothercare Australia.

 

A BRI Ferrier spokesman told The Australian that the administrators would try to sell the business as a going concern, along with its 43 stores, saving 400 jobs.

 

Mothercare in the UK, which owns a 23% stake in its Australian subsidiary, along with competitors including Baby Bunting and My Baby Warehouse, are said to be interested in the local chain.

 

Overnight

 

The S&P500 is 0.023% higher at 1502.30. The Aussie dollar is up to $US104.34 cents.