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Sydney, July 13, 2010 (ABN Newswire) - The Australian market was higher in early trade on Tuesday after Wall Street posted a small gain overnight. Alcoa kicked off the US earnings season with a better-than-expected report and it also raised its forecast for the metal consumption this year. The local market today rose more than 0.3 per cent shortly after the market opened.

In economic news today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics releases lending finance data for May, and National Australia Bank releases its monthly business survey for June.

Company News

Alcoa (ASX:AAI) has posted a net loss of US$65 million for the first half of 2010. The second quarter 2010 income from continuing operations was US$137 million, compared with a first quarter 2010 loss from continuing operations of US$194 million and a second quarter 2009 loss of US$312 million. Earnings for the second quarter improved US$331 million sequentially as a result of stronger volumes, productivity improvements, favourable currency and lower energy costs, despite average realised metal prices declining US$22 a tonne to an average of US$2,309 tonne in the quarter. The company also raised its outlook for worldwide aluminium consumption growth to 12 per cent from 10 per cent, with higher demand expected this year from aerospace companies, auto and truck makers and beverage-can producers.

Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL) said it has completed a six month strategic review of its business portfolio. The outcome of the review confirms the company's focus on servicing the core mining markets and customers in Australia, Indonesia and Canada where the outlook for bulk commodities, gold and oil sands is robust. In addition to rationalisation of its businesses in USA and Europe, the company will also exit the Victorian civil equipment rental business, and downsize the Australian Sales and Parts business to align with its core mining equipment rental business. These reactions are expected to liberate capital of approximately A$60 million in FY11. The company said FY10 operating NPAT is expected to be in the range of A$40-41 million which is within previous guidance of A$40-44 million.

BigAir Group (ASX:BGL) said it has signed a strategic wholesale partnership agreement with NTT Australia, a subsidiary of Japanese telecom carrier Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation's (TYO:9432) international and long distance service arm. NTT Australia has already placed its first fixed wireless service order with BigAir for one of its global customers in Sydney under the new agreement. The company says the agreement with NTT Australia is a further step in its growth strategy for 2010, in order to consolidate BigAir's position as the leading Fixed Wireless network owner for Australian business.

Contact

Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344
Email: michelle.liang@abnnewswire.net


Related Companies

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation       
Emeco Holdings Limited        
Bigair Group Limited       
Alcoa Inc.        




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