Martina Navratilova has joined calls for Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne to be renamed after the Aussie tennis great said she would boycott Qantas due to the airline's stance on same-sex marriage. The Adelaide Strikers defeat the Melbourne Stars by 8 wickets, going top of the table in the process. A brace to Ross McCormack has given Melbourne City a 7-nil victory over Perth Glory at NIB Stadium. Angelique Kerber survived a battle between two former world number ones as the German defeated Venus Williams in three sets at the Sydney International. Australia are poised to claim the fifth and final Ashes Test thanks to centuries from Shaun and Mitch Marsh as England end day four on 9 for 98Brad Hogg was in the thick of it against his former side, but a costly dropped catch soured his and his team's night. Hobart keeper Matthew Wade realised mid-innings that he had walked out to bat without either thigh pad on at Blundstone Arena on Monday. Qantas shares are trading at a decade-high, so no wonder the airline's boss, Alan Joyce, was in the mood for a chat on the sidelines of an airline conference in Cancun, Mexico. Joyce promised to stick to his knitting in terms of slashing costs and delivering earnings growth.
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When we deliver on that, the share price will certainly look after itself, who was inexplicably given approval to attend the gruelling event. The downside of the soaring Qantas share price is that Joyce missed a lot of this upside. He sold 7. 65 million shares in August last year which had just vested under the airline's incentive program. He sold the stock for $7 million, which is $9 million less than what he'd get for the shares today.
Ah well, there are some things money can't buy, like the feeling of being a world away from Australia where his pie-throwing nemesis, 67-year-old Tony Overheu, faced a Perth court over the unsavoury incident at a business breakfast last month. Overheu, who faces charges of common assault, damaging property, trespass and giving false details to police, did not have to enter a plea during his brief appearance. The devout Christian has been hit with a lifetime ban by Qantas over the incident which he says was a protest over the airline's stance on same-sex marriage. Maybe he can compare notes with tennis champion, Margaret Court, who has voluntarily banned herself from flying Qantas over the issue. Overheu faces the additional challenge of being banned from Qantas budget offshoot Jetstar and affiliates Cathay Pacific and Emirates.
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Quote of the week would have to go to Coles boss, John Durkan, and analysts on Wednesday how crazy our grocery prices are compared with the rest of the world. It's already an overpriced grocery market in my view and I've been saying that for nine years, said Durkan – who did not seem to have been able to do much to change this state of affairs during his time at the supermarket operator. Where do we start with sandalwood grower Quintis? The latest update from the company didn't downgrade its sales and earnings forecasts so much as abandon them entirely. But the good news is its brand ambassadors, Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo and former Test cricketer Adam Gilchrist, still have a job.
That's because the new boss, Julius Matthys, has bigger things to worry about – like reviving its sandalwood sales in China which accounted for the massive plunge in sales forecast for the current half year. Just months ago the company was expecting sales in China of up to $75 million for the current half-year. It now says it might not make so much as $6 in sales to China. This is on top of the fact that its cash earnings guidance for the current financial year – which ends in a few weeks – has been withdrawn entirely. And to top it all off, it has substantially reduced its new sandalwood tree planting this year.
With all of that to digest, investors might have warmed to the news that parties have approached the company about a potential transaction. CBD understands the former boss, Frank Wilson, is involved with one of the parties which are looking at potential debt and equity transactions. We suspect that any approach from Wilson – who left abruptly in March to pursue a bid for the company – will not be met with open arms at Quintis. The stock dropped more than 99 per cent in May after Quintis revealed that a Nestle subsidiary, Galderma, was no longer a customer. This had actually occurred six months earlier, but no one informed the board.
The latest announcement states that there would have been a $7. 9 million write-off in the December 86 accounts if this had been known to the current board of directors and current senior management.