Archive for January, 2019

Costa Group’s doubles profit, forecast $1 billion in full year sales

The cpmpany has been able to shrug off falling prices for tomatoes amid a bumper crop. From left: Costa Group’s chairman Neil Chatfield, chief executive Harry Debney and Geelong fruit and vegetable businessman Frank Costa. Photo: Josh Robenstone

 Australia’s biggest horticulture company, Costa Group has doubled its net profit, defying hail storms and a glut of field tomatoes.

Statutory net profit for the company, which listed on the ASX mid last year, soared 110 per cent to $600,000 in the six months to December 27.

Revenue, meanwhile leapt 12.7 per cent to $403.8 million.

Chief executive Harry Debney attributed the result to the company’s product portfolio mix and structure, which gives the company the “capacity to absorb individual volatility in production and markets”.

He said Costa’s protected cropping system – or growing produce undercover – shielded the company from “damaging hailstorms” at its berry farm at Corindi last year. The group was also able to shrug off price deflation for tomatoes after a bumper crop flooded the market.

Mr Debney said the company, for the first time, was on track to deliver more than $1 billion in full year sales this financial year, forecasting a stronger second half.

“Due to seasonality, growth project timing and international operations, performance will be more heavily weighted to the second half,” Mr Debney said.

The company also unveiled a plan to deepen its exposure to berries, spending $80 million on capital projects in the category over four years from 2017.

Costa will pay an interim dividend of 3 cents a share, fully franked, on April 27.

More to come…

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Former wine and print entrepreneur fights bankruptcy

Sold: David James’s former business James Estate Wines at Pokolbin before the collapse of his print and wine companies in 2013. This week he is fighting bankruptcy action over $14 million owed to the ANZ Bank. HUNTER wineand print entrepreneur David James is in the Federal Court fighting bankruptcy action by creditors including the ANZ Bank after losing an attempt to delaythe bank from pursuing him for nearly $14 million.

On Tuesday NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Ball rejected Mr James’s attempt for a stay on a May 2014 consent judgment against him after the collapse of his companies in 2013, leading to the sale of assets including James Estate Wines at Pokolbin.

Justice Ball rejected Mr James’s argument the delay was necessary, based on aFederal Court application on Friday in which he will allege some of his companies suffered combined economic loss of more than $50 million after action by receivers. He will allege assets were undervalued and receivers took possession of property in a manner that meant they could no longer trade, Justice Ball noted.

In hisdecision on Tuesday JusticeBall said it was “plain” Mr James’s attempt to take action against receivers would require the leave of the court.

“It is equally plain that any amount recovered as a result of the claim will be for the benefit of the relevant companies and not Mr James personally,” Justice Ball said.

He noted Mr James’s submission that he had delayed legal action against receivers until recently because of anxiety and depression requiring a hospital stay for a number of weeks, but rejected that his illness meant he had been unable to settle the $14 million debt to the ANZ.

“It is plain from the guarantees that Mr James gave and the consent orders that he agreed to that he accepts that he owes ANZ the money it claims and that he agreed that he would not seek to deduct from that amount amounts he claimed were owing to him,” Justice Ball said.

Any action against receivers over the alleged handling of assets from Mr James’s former TLT Group could be more appropriately pursued by the group’s liquidators, the judge found.

Justice Ball noted there had been various attempts to bankrupt Mr James, including by the Commonwealth Bank and a previous attempt bythe ANZ Bank. The ANZ Bank’s filing of a creditors’ petition to bankrupt Mr James is being heard in the Federal Court on Thursday.

Mr James was ordered to pay the ANZ Bank’s costs.

Mr James’s James Estate Wines on 43.6 hectares at Pokolbin sold in December 2014.

In 2012 Mr James lost a Supreme Court case after the Australian Tax Office pursued him for almost$4.3 million in tax, interest and penalties.

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Turning a house into a safe and happy home

Tomika RileyFriends With Dignity volunteer Dignified: Tomika Riley volunteers for the Newcastle branch of Friends With Dignity to help people escaping domestic violence set up new homes. Picture: Marina Neil.

TOMIKA Riley believes everyonehas a right to feel safe and loved in their own home.

But sadlyfor too many families, this isnot areality.

Ms Rileyhas become so passionate about supporting victims of domestic violencethat she has become a volunteer for the Newcastle branch ofFriends With Dignity–anot-for-profitorganisation that provides practical help to people escaping abusive situations toset up new homes and new lives.

The organisation doesthis by offeringnon-perishable foods, toiletries, clothing, furniture and toys to help them make a house a home.

“There are many ways in which Friends With Dignity help, but the main way is by setting up ‘sanctuaries’for families,” Ms Riley said.

“When a family is leaving refuge and is able to secure housing, often they are unable to then source all of the household items most of us take for granted, and that’s where Friends With Dignity step in.”

The organisation receivesa referral from therefuge or domestic violenceservice working with the family, and puts togethera wish list specific to the family’s needs.

“Wepost this on our Facebook page and wait for the offers of donation to come in,” Ms Riley said.

“We then have a coordinated team that collect these donations, deliver them to the house and turn the empty house into a home, a ‘sanctuary’.

“Friends With Dignityliterally turns an empty shell into a home the family can walk straight into and begin living the minute they receive the keys back.

“And it’s all done in sevendays.”

Everything to fill the home is donated.This includes furniture, bedding, linen, kitchenware, electrical goods, white-goods and toys, collected on a needsbasis.

Occasionally, they will also put out a call for donations of school supplies, such as books, bags, and drink bottles.

Ms Riley hasseveralfriends who had been affected by domestic violence.

“Itisa huge problem at the moment in Australia andour society,” she said.

“I wasn’t able to do much to help those friends I watched go through that, so I want to do whatever I can to help others going through it now.”

Those wanting to help can “Like”the Friends With Dignity Facebook page andlook out for the calls for donations, or become a volunteer.

“All of our volunteers work, study and have families,so we all vary greatly in the time and capacity we are able to commit but every little contribution makes a big difference.”

Visitfriendswithdignity苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛 to find out more.

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Sweltering conditions in Sydney to linger well past sunset

Getting in early: young surfers head an early dip at Cronulla Beach on Thursday morning. Photo: John VeageRecord run of warmth and a scorcher to come

Sydney will likely come close to notching its hottest day this late in the summer for 12 years – and there won’t be much early relief.

Thursday’s temperature was forecast to reach 38 degrees in the city and 41 degrees in Parramatta and suburbs to the west before the Bureau of Meteorology later trimmed its prediction for the CBD maximum to 35 degrees.

The bureau also noted that an air quality forecast alert for poor conditions for the Sydney region has been issued by the Office of Environment and Heritage for Thursday as ozone levels are expected to exceed national air quality standards.

The lower temperature reading for the CBD hinged on the timing of the sea breezes, Brett Dutschke, a senior meteorologist at Weatherzone, said.

“It’s not a straightforward day,” he said, adding that Bankstown, Homebush and Parramatta should all notch maximums in the 40s regardless of the fickle coastal winds.

Penrith’s top so far has been 41.1 degrees, while Sydney’s Olympic Park reached 40.4 degrees and the city 32.8 degrees.

Thursday is also proving to muggy, particularly for the eastern suburbs where unusually warm sea temperatures – 25 degrees, according to Beachwatch – will lift humidity levels.

“It’s as warm as it gets,” Mr Dutschke said, adding that he can’t recall many times when off-shore water temperatures have been so warm.

US data indicate parts of the NSW coast are more than 3 degrees above normal:

Late change

The heat is likely to linger across the Sydney basin all through the afternoon.

“It’s still going to be hot until late into the evening,” Mr Dutschke said.

“It’s not the sort of evening to be opening the windows for,” he added.

People might instead set an alarm for early on Friday morning, when a change – or at least a shift in wind direction – is expected to move in.

Although Friday is likely to have the odd shower, “you wouldn’t call it cool,” Mr Dutschke said.

The bureau is forecasting a maximum of 29 for the city, and a degree or so warmer in the west on Friday.

Saturday will bring slightly cooler conditions and a greater chance of showers with a drop of 27 degrees. This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.

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