Geoffrey Rush awarded almost $2.9 million after defamation win

Original article by Jamie McKinnell
abc.net au – Page: Online : 24-May-19

Nationwide News has been ordered to pay nearly $2.9 million in damages to Hollywood actor Geoffrey Rush. He was found to have been defamed by ‘The Daily Telegraph’ over allegations that he had behaved inappropriately towards actress Eryn Jean Norvill during a Sydney Theatre Company production of ‘King Lear’. Rush’s payment includes $850,000 for general and aggravated damages, $919,678 for future economic loss and $42,000 in interest. Rush’s barrister Sue Chrystanthou noted there had been an offer to settle for $50,000, but Nationwide News had instead chosen to mount a truth defence.

CORPORATES
SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY, NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY LTD

Rare earths dispute lifts Lynas

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 20 : 22-May-19

Lynas Corporation produced 5,444 tonnes of neodymium and praseodymium in fiscal 2018, but it has outlined plans to lift this to 10,500 tonnes a year via a $500m capital investment program. Lynas has also advised that it will undertake the initial processing of ore from its Mt Weld project in Western Australia at a site near the mine, rather than exporting the raw materials to its processing plant in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Lynas share closed 14.4 per cent higher at $2.26 on 21 May, after China flagged plans to cease exporting rare earths to the US amid ongoing trade tensions between the two nations.

CORPORATES
LYNAS CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX LYC, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES

Nine dices up inherited events arm

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 22-May-19

Sydney’s City2Surf race is among five sports events that the Ironman Group will acquire from Nine Entertainment in a deal worth $31m. Nine will retain about seven of the events that were previously part of Fairfax Media’s events business, including the Night Noodle Markets and Good Food Month. They will be integrated into Nine’s publishing division, while a number of smaller events will be discontinued. Chinese-owned Ironman Group manages more than 230 events in 53 countries.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, IRONMAN GROUP, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, WANDA GROUP, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, THORNEY INVESTMENT GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

ABC staff told to brace for cuts

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 7 : 21-May-19

ABC MD David Anderson has warned the public broadcaster’s employees that it will need to reduce costs by $14.6m in 2019-20 after the federal government failed to reverse its funding freeze in the April 2019 Budget. Anderson has reiterated that investing in content must be the ABC’s priority; he had previously indicated that jobs and services would need to be cut if the funding freeze remained in place. Labor had committed to scrapping the freeze if it won the federal election.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Foxtel focus on satisfied subscribers

Original article by Andrew White, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 28 : 20-May-19

Foxtel’s recently-appointed chief product and strategy officer Alice Mascia has been recruited to help bolster its Kayo Sports and Foxtel Now streaming services and to help retain subscribers. Mascia says Foxtel is planning to introduce a loyalty scheme for customers, while customers who want to get a satellite set-top box for free when they get Foxtel installed are being asked to sign a 12-month contract; she says this should reduce customer churn. Foxtel’s churn rates increased to 17 per cent in the March quarter following a 11 per cent price rise in October, but they improved in April.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

BHP warned of potash mission impossible

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian – Page: 19 & 24 : 20-May-19

BHP recently advised that the first stage of its proposed $US5.7 billion ($8.3 billion) Jansen potash project in Canada will produce 10 per cent more a year than previously forecast, but that it will cost around 10 per cent more to construct. Green Markets research director Alexis Maxwell says rival potash producers would seek to keep prices sufficiently low so that BHP did not have sufficient incentive to develop Jansen, while JP Morgan analyst Lyndon Fagan says BHP is using unrealistically high potash prices to justify the economics of Jansen. BHP is expected to make a decision on whether to proceed with Jansen within 18 months.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, GREEN MARKETS, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Aunty takes ratings crown

Original article by Zoe Samios, Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 26 : 20-May-19

The ABC had the highest-rating federal election coverage on 18 May, with its audience peaking at 1.336 million – including 940,000 metropolitan viewers – from 8-9pm. The ABC News channel attracted an average metropolitan audience of 258,833, while some 300,000 people watched the public broadcaster’s election coverage via iview. Meanwhile, the Nine Network’s election coverage attracted some 450,000 metropolitan viewers, and pay-TV channel Sky News was watched by an average of 132,000 viewers.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SKY NEWS, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), RMIT UNIVERSITY

Guardian wins Pharmacy satisfaction ahead of Priceline

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 20-May-19

Guardian is the Roy Morgan Pharmacy/Chemist of the month for March 2019 with a customer satisfaction rating of 93%, edging out Priceline Pharmacy on 92% and TerryWhite Chemmart and Discount Drug Stores (both on 91%). Guardian is a former winner of the Roy Morgan Pharmacy/Chemist of the Year Customer Satisfaction Award in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and it has returned to the winner’s circle with a significant improvement in performance over the last year. Guardian increased customer satisfaction by 6% points from a year ago to 93% – a larger increase than any of its leading rivals. Several other leading pharmacies improved their customer satisfaction over the last year, including Priceline Pharmacy (up 2% points to 92%), TerryWhite Chemmart (up 2% points to 91%), Amcal/Amcal Max (up 2% points to 90%) and Chemist Warehouse (up 1% point to 90%).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, GUARDIAN PHARMACY, PRICELINE PHARMACY, TERRYWHITE CHEMMART, DISCOUNT DRUGSTORES PTY LTD, AMCAL CHEMISTS, AMCAL MAX, CHEMIST WAREHOUSE

Foxtel eyeing sport, programming costs

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 14-May-19

Sports rights and associated production costs accounted for $800m of Foxtel’s $1.6bn expenditure on programming costs in 2018. The pay-TV group’s total operating expenditure for the calendar year was $2.56bn. Parent company News Corp has indicated that there is potential to reduce spending on "non-marquee" sports content, as well as non-sports programming costs. Foxtel is also reviewing the prices of its programming packages and has not ruled out an increase.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, KAYO SPORTS, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE, RUGBY AUSTRALIA, FOOTBALL FEDERATION AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE A LEAGUE PTY LTD, THE W LEAGUE, SOCCEROOS, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED

ALP regains initiative with a week to go: ALP 52% cf. L-NP 48%

The last face-to-face Roy Morgan Poll before the election shows the ALP regaining the initiative and pulling away from the L-NP with an election winning two-party preferred lead: ALP 52% cf. L-NP 48%.

The increase for the ALP came through an increased primary vote at the expense of the Greens according to the final face-to-face Roy Morgan Poll of the Federal Election and indicates the chances of Australia electing a hung Parliament this weekend have diminished.

Primary Voting Intention

Primary support for the L-NP was unchanged at 38.5% this week but support for the ALP increased by 1.5% to 35.5%. The ALP gained support from the Greens, down 1% to 10%.

Support for One Nation was unchanged at 4% and support for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party (UAP) was unchanged at 3.5%. Support for Independents/Others is down marginally by 0.5% to 8.5%.

In a worrying sign for the L-NP Government the Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has dropped 6pts to 93 this week with 44.5% of electors (up 3.5%) saying Australia is heading in the ‘wrong direction’ and only 37.5% (down 2.5%) saying Australia is heading in the ‘right direction’.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan says:

“The ALP campaign launch last week with a message of unity has helped provide a ‘boost’ in ALP support with under a week to go until the Federal Election. The ALP 52% now holds an election winning lead over the L-NP 48% on a two-party preferred basis.

“In addition Bill Shorten’s good week came as many Australians felt sympathy for Shorten after he described the struggles his mother had endured to undertake her dream of completing a law degree. A front-page headline in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph which sought to attack Shorten for drawing on his mother’s story only served to highlight his mother’s achievements to a wider audience.

“Shorten also had two successful leadership debates with Prime Minister Scott Morrison including a quick-witted put-down of Morrison as a ‘classic space invader’ during the second leader’s debate and a solid performance in the third, and final, leader’s debate last Wednesday.

“In calculating the two-party preferred support the Roy Morgan Poll uses respondent’s stated preferences. While Greens supporters strongly preferences the ALP, other parties stated preferences are dividing fairly evenly between the ALP and L-NP and as many as one-in-four electors still haven’t made their mind up.

“However, most Australians believe the ALP will win the election with many polls for months showing the ALP well ahead of the Government. But will all the polls be proven wrong again like with the US Presidential Election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016? Most people believed Clinton would win and this belief was reflected by most of the American polls at the time.”

 

Electors were asked: “At the Federal election for the House of Representatives on May 18 – which party will receive your first preference? and “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in Australia are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?”

This final Roy Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention and Roy Morgan Government Confidence was conducted via face-to-face interviewing with a representative cross-section of 1,265 Australian electors aged 18+ concluding on the weekend. 5% of electors can’t say who they support.

 

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan data, please contact:

Contact Office Mobile
Gary Morgan: +61 3 9224 5213 +61 411 129 094
Michele Levine: +61 3 9224 5215 +61 411 129 093