Word is that Diners Club is now
being rejected by so many merchants and not being offered by service
providers in their billing options that they will be pulling out of
Australia in November.

Grapegrowers and smaller winemakers
are not impressed by the appointment of John Moore (former Howard minister) as new Chairman of the Australian Wine and Brandy
Corporation. It is seen by the majority of winemakers (although they
account for less market value than the handful of major producers they
make up around 90% of the numbers or more) as yet another “jobs for the boys” crony appointment.

Last year PMP got to its profit result
by revaluing spare parts expensed in previous years by $3 million. This
was a change of accounting policy and it is surprising the auditors
never required it to be mentioned in the notes. Had the revaluation not
taken place it would have achieved the profit forecast. On Thursday it
is expected to announce a profit of $80.4 million which is again
fudged as it has drawn back some of the surplus from the
superannuation fund which has never been done in the previous ten years
the fund has operated. Once again, had this not been done PMP would not
have achieved the lower end of its profit forecast.

Funny how some Nine boning works. A
sound assistant at the Nine newsroom in Melbourne was tapped on the
shoulder by GTV news boss Michael Venus in the recent shake-out. Pretty
much the next day he walked back in the gate with payout banked, ready
to start a new job with the Today Show.

Australia’s financiers are rumoured to be grappling
for a high double figure million dollar acquisition of Radio Rentals
(Thorn Asia-Pacific) and Dominion Television Rentals trading as DTR in
New Zealand (Thorn International) by Australian private company. Thorn,
within the specialised industry sector of domestic and commercial
appliance rentals has amassed an astounding rate of 93% consumer brand
recall. There are 70 Australian retail stores branded as Radio Rentals
and a further 27 branded as DTR in New Zealand. Radio Rentals, a
retailing icon with a 69 year history, is Australia’s largest household
appliance rental company.

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Peter Fray
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