2020 visions: big calls for new year

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 30 & 31 : 9-Dec-19

The CEOs of Australian media, digital media and advertising groups have shared their views on the outlook for their company in 2020 and the media sector in general. Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill says the deal to acquire Pacific Magazines will increase the publisher’s stability and allow it to increase its focus on the creation of compelling branded content, while Foxtel CEO Patrick Delaney says the pay-TV group’s large customer base will be its biggest advantage in 2020. Southern Cross Media Group CEO Grant Blackley says factors such as weak consumer sentiment and its flow-on effect on the advertising market will be the biggest challenge facing his company in 2020.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, SEEK LIMITED – ASX SEK, OOH!MEDIA LIMITED – ASX OML, CARSALES.COM LIMITED – ASX CAR, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, TWITTER AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, REA GROUP LIMITED – ASX REA, FETCHTV PTY LTD, JC DECAUX AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Whitehaven takes hit on drought and fires

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 6-Dec-19

Whitehaven Coal has advised that output at its Maules Creek mine in 2019-20 will be 7-10 per cent lower than previously forecast. The company has indicated that factors such as smoke from the New South Wales bushfires has disrupted work at the mine. Whitehaven also said the mine’s production has been affected by a shortage of skilled workers. Environmental activists have suggested that the downgrade is linked to climate change.

CORPORATES
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, AUSTRALASIAN CENTRE FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION INCORPORATED, YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX YAL, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, GLENCORE PLC, AURELIA METALS LIMITED – ASX AMI

MinRes to keep lithium mine running

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian – Page: 19 : 21-Nov-19

Mineral Resources has advised that output at its Mount Marion mine in Western Australia is still expected to be within the range of 360,000 to 380,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate in 2019-20, at an average cost of nearly $600 a tonne. CEO Chris Ellison has told the group’s annual meeting that concentrate grading six per cent lithium has fetched around $US600 ($879) per tonne in recent months, after averaging $1,182/tonne in 2018-19. He added that Mineral Resources’ earnings are currently being driven by its iron ore and mining services operations.

CORPORATES
MINERAL RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX MIN, ALBERMARLE CORPORATION, PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED – ASX PLS, ALITA RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX A40, GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX GXY, ALTURA MINING LIMITED – ASX AJM

Regulate digital platforms: Seven

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 19 : 14-Nov-19

Seven West Media expects the metropolitan TV market to record single-digit growth in advertising revenue in 2019-20. CEO James Warburton has told the group’s annual meeting that the advertising market is likely to remain weak during the December quarter, noting that Seven’s revenue share was 39 per cent in the first quarter. Meanwhile, chairman Kerry Stokes has called for greater regulation of digital giants such as Google and Facebook, including the implementation of all recommendations arising from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s inquiry into digital platforms.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, REDWAVE MEDIA LIMITED

Nine feels squeeze of ad market

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 & 24 : 13-Nov-19

Nine Entertainment Company has downgraded its underlying earnings growth forecast for 2019-20 due to challenging conditions in the advertising market. CEO Hugh Marks has told the group’s AGM that there was a 6.4 per cent decline in the metropolitan free-to-air TV advertising market in the first quarter, and the outlook has not improved in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Nine chairman Peter Costello has called for digital platforms to be subject to the same regulations as traditional media companies.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, 2GB, RADIO 4BC BRISBANE PTY LTD, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Drought may force mines to shut down

Original article by Nick Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 20 : 11-Nov-19

Aeris Resources has warned that lack of sufficient water supply may force the closure of its Tritton copper mine in New South Wales. Aeris has advised that the mine may not have enough water to keep operating beyond February, and it will seek state government approval to access the Nyngan to Cobar pipeline. Aurelia Metals has also indicated that the drought in NSW may result in the loss of its Peak gold and base metals mine’s entire water allocation in early 2020. The mining sector is a major employer in the state’s Cobar region.

CORPORATES
AERIS RESOURCES LIMITED – ASX AIS, AURELIA METALS LIMITED – ASX AMI, GLENCORE PLC, NEWCREST MINING LIMITED – ASX NCM, EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED – ASX EVN, WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, COBAR SHIRE COUNCIL, AUSTRALIA. BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY

Banks, super face new round of compo costs

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 21 : 7-Nov-19

Law firm Minter Ellison has warned that banks and wealth managers could face additional customer remediation costs if Westpac does not appeal against a recent judgment regarding the provision of financial advice. Minter Ellison partner Andrew Bradley says the Federal Court’s decision to overturn a judgment in favour of Westpac could also prompt more class actions in the financial services sector. The case centred on the distinction between general and personal advice.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, MINTER ELLISON, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD

Rio Tinto could hit iron ore goal in 2022

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 1-Nov-19

The head of Rio Tinto’s iron ore division, Chris Salisbury, has told investors that production at its Koodaideri mine in Western Australia is slated for late 2021. He also said the mine will give Rio Tinto the capacity to ship 360 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara each year. This target was first set in 2013, but to date the most Rio Tinto has shopped from the Pilbara in a single year is 338.2 million tonnes. Analysts expect its Pilbara shipments to total 325.5 million tonnes in 2019.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, VUMA FINANCIAL LIMITED

Banks face a crisis: former Westpac chief Morgan

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 28 : 31-Oct-19

Former Westpac CEO David Morgan says the Australian banking sector is experiencing its fourth crisis, due to factors such as slowing economic growth, the misconduct exposed by the Hayne royal commission, and the Banking Executive Accountability Regime. The banking industry veteran, who is currently CEO of Chi-X Australia, cautions against over-regulating the sector, noting that the nation has a world-class banking system by global standards.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, CHI-X AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

JB Hi-Fi says low interest rates a double-edged sword for retailers

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 25-Oct-19

JB Hi-Fi has advised that its Australian stores recorded same-store sales growth of 3.7 per cent in the September quarter, while its New Zealand arm’s same-store sales were up 3.8 per cent. JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray says group sales are still expected to increase by about 2.2 per cent to $7.65bn in 2019-20. He notes that while consumer confidence has improved since the 18 May federal election, the cash rate’s fall to a record low has also prompted some fears about the state of the economy.

CORPORATES
JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, THE GOOD GUYS, NICK SCALI LIMITED – ASX NCK, SOUTHERN CROSS MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX SXL