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THE NEWS WRAP: Virgin Australia’s balance sheet loses altitude, plunges to $110 million loss

Tuesday, 6 August 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

Virgin Australia’s balance sheet is set to slump to a loss of between $95 million and $110 million, with management blaming the carbon tax, the introduction of a new booking system and tough competition.


Disruptions stemming from the introduction of the Sabre booking system meant a loss of around $50 million in revenue to rivals Qantas and Jetstar.


“We have said all along … that this carbon tax is not recoverable in a weak economic environment. It is purely a cost on the business,” Virgin chief executive John Borghetti said.


Barnaby Joyce attacks ADM takeover of GrainCorp


Senator Barnaby Joyce has attacked the proposed $3.4 billion Archer Daniels Midland takeover of GrainCorp, in a speech to the Diggers & Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie.


Joyce raised concerns about a possible monopolisation of key assets and the potential exploitation of farmers as a result of a takeover, while simultaneously supporting foreign investment in the mining sector.


“We do believe in foreign investment – it’s crucial. To say that we are against foreign investment is one of those parochial barbs that is thrown at us because it's not actually a reflection of our position,” Joyce said.


Amazon founder buys The Washington Post


Tech billionaire and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced a $US250 million takeover of The Washington Post Company’s publishing assets.


The deal sees Bezos gain control of The Washington Post and other publishing businesses, including the Express newspaper, The Gazette newspapers, Southern Maryland Newspapers, Fairfax County Times, El Tiempo Latino and Greater Washington Publishing.


The deal, which was carried out by Bezos in his private capacity rather than as part of Amazon, does not include the company’s Classified Ventures or cable television businesses, Slate, TheRoot.com or the other non-publishing assets of The Washington Post Company.


"I, along with Katharine Weymouth and our board of directors, decided to sell only after years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post," Washington Post Company chairman Donald E. Graham said in a statement.


"Jeff Bezos' proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post."




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to 15612.13. The Aussie dollar is down to US89.38 cents.