Good morning – it’s Qantas results day.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Qantas will report its half-year results this morning and also outline a vast restructuring plan expected to mean the loss of around 5000 jobs. It’s expected to be the worst result in the company’s history, with the market expecting a loss of some $300 million. The key things to look out for are job cut numbers, sales of assets including airport terminal leases, and any plans for changes to capacity – the excess of which has been the cause of the atrocious recent performance. The Australian reports this morning that more than 5000 jobs will go with back office staff to be hardest hit. It’s unclear when there will be an announcement about government elements of the plan, including a form of debt guarantee and changes to the airline’s foreign ownership restrictions. One thing’s certain: Tony Abbott and the Federal Government are going to struggle to explaing support for a company that has just announced plans to lay off huge amounts of workers. Chief executive Alan Joyce speaks at 10.30am eastern time and we’ll be covering it live.
- Bill Shorten has been put in the awkward position of having to call a senior military official to express his respect after Labor powerbroker Stephen Conroy accused the head of Operation Sovereign Borders, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, of being involved in a political cover-up because of his involvement in the deterrence of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat.
- The rise of cashless payments is transforming daily life and one impact is the reduction in income from tips for cab drivers. Now they are building their own taxi booking and payments app that will allow for a tipping function.
- Huawei Australia has a new chief executive who will have a significant marketing budget to position the Chinese company as the country’s No.3 supplier of smartphones.
- Mark Zuckerberg had dinner with a number of telco executives on the wings of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Some telcos are scared witless by Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, because of how the messaging service allows people to communicate over wireless, bypassing the telcos’ mobile data plans.
- After the removal of cigarette displays in shops nationwide last year, a study has found that tobacco companies are influencing the generic price lists that replaced them. It suggests more expensive brands like Dunhill are found at the top of the list in more affluent suburbs and that cheaper brands like Holiday are at the top in poorer areas. Predictably there are calls for more government intervention of some description; you have to assume the extreme campaigners would consider stopping people from learning to read numbers so they can’t understand the signs.
- A survey from RP Data finds 60% of Australians think we could be in for a housing crash, with the highest anxiety about prices being in the hottest markets, Sydney and Melbourne. It’s a reassuring sign if one of the defining aspects of a bubble is an element of mania.
- A Muslim extremist who hacked a British soldier to death in broad daylight, in a crime that shocked the world, has been sentenced to life in prison.
- Been following The Real Housewives of Melbourne? Here’s a withering review. Excerpt, discussing the stars: “Embarrassing? Yes. Self-delusional? Yes. Compulsively watchable? No.”
- Pippa Middleton has spoken for the first time about that dress she wore at the royal wedding. “As I have found out, recognition has its upside, its downside and — you may say — its backside,” she said.
Bonus item: Here’s a video that’s apt for the day that’s in it – it’s a bit like Alan Joyce trying to land the results presentation. A RAAF pilot explains what’s going on here.
Have a good one, and check back with us for news on the Qantas results. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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