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THE NEWS WRAP: Myer calls on Abbott to curb penalty rates as its profits fall 8.7%

Friday, 13 September 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Myer has reported its full year profits fell by 8.7% to $127.2 million, with chief executive Bernie Brookes blaming penalty rates for the result.


Brookes used the announcement to call on the incoming Abbott government to restrain from further penalty rate increases.


“The increases in penalty rates that we've suffered under, through the general retail award and the Fair Work Act, have been substantial,” Brookes said.


“They've made us uncompetitive on a world scale and our view is that we're not looking for a winding back of those penalty rates.


“What we are looking for is stopping the continued escalation of them, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, and after hours during the week.”


Unemployment rate hits 5.8%


Australia’s unemployment rate hit 5.8% in August, a post-GFC record, with youth unemployment climbing to a massive 17.3%.


The figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also show 2600 full-time jobs and 8200 part-time jobs were lost, with a further 7.8% of the workforce under-employed.


The unemployment rate in Tasmania hit 8.6%, with a further 18.5% under-employed.


Bega launches $320 million takeover bid for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory


Dairy giant Bega has launched a $320 million takeover bid for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory, based in south-western Victoria, offering 1.2 Bega shares and $2 cash for each Warrnambool share it doesn't already hold.


Bega currently owns 18% of Warrnambool, while rival Murray Goulburn Co-operative (which trades as Devondale) is the second largest shareholder with 16.3%.


A takeover deal will see Murray Goulburn become Bega’s largest shareholder, while also gaining $18 million in cash from its rival.


“If you seriously look at the dairy industry, it is a truly global industry. There's a great opportunity out there in the marketplace, but there's also significant competition. And when you have a look at that competition it's generally very scaled competition,” Bega chairman Barry Irvin says.


"This deal is about making sure we can take our place."




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 15300.64. The Aussie dollar is down to US 92.66 cents.