Business News

5 things you need to know today

1. Woolworths has reported a 9.5% rise in group earnings and 3.4% growth in sales. The retail group reported net profits are also up 12.9% with an increase in dividends payments to shareholders of more than 20%. The supermarket giant has pointed out that sales growth dropped off early in the new financial year after it stopped providing free single-use plastic bags across the country.

2. High profile real estate agency McGrath has reported a loss of $63 million for the 2018 year, but says the housing market slowdown is now near the bottom and its most difficult days are behind it. The group's earnings before interest and tax was $5 million, with a closing cash balance of $10.9 million. Mr McGrath founded the business in 1988 and there are now 95 offices across Sydney and Melbourne.

3. Pope Francis has condemned the "atrocities" of child sex abuse and clerical cover-ups in a letter to the world's 1.2bn Roman Catholics. The letter to "the People of God" calls for an end to the "culture of death" in the Church and asks for forgiveness. It comes as a landmark investigation in the US found that more than 1,000 minors had been abused by 300 priests in the US state of Pennsylvania.

4. Scientists have discovered evidence of ice at the moon’s North and South poles. The frozen water could be used as a resource in future exploration according to researchers, cutting down the costs of future missions.

5. If you’ve ever wanted to pretend to be a spy, this could be your best chance: carmaker Aston Martin is releasing a special edition of the DB5, best known as James Bond’s car of choice in Goldfinger and later Bond films. Along with revolving number plates, the $4.8 million car will also feature a number of other gadgets.

Published on: Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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