6 May 2019

Today's business news: What you need to know

3:37 pm on 6 May 2019

Latest - Retailer Briscoe Group has reported stronger sales in the first quarter, but warns its profit is down on last year amid a tough trading environment.

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Photo: RNZ

Sales, on a same-store basis, were up just over 2 percent compared to last year, with both homewares and sports goods sales rising.

Managing director Rod Duke said Easter and Anzac Day falling in the same week affected sales.

He said pressure on margins and rising wage costs have meant the company's quarterly profit was marginally below last year.

Briscoe Group also expects changes to accounting standards to contribute to the lower profit result.

New Zealanders data hungry at Easter

white router includes two green cable connectors rg45, home router

Photo: 123RF

Telecommunications lines company, Chorus, said there was record broadband use over the Easter holiday weekend, well above the monthly average.

Monthly average data usage increased to 261 gigabytes in April and total data usage on Easter Monday saw the largest amount ever with the Chorus network carrying nearly 12 million gigabytes of data.

The company said that's equivalent to every single New Zealander streaming their own individual Netflix television show in high definition.

Otherwise, Chorus said 9pm in the evening continues to be the time when most people are using their broadband.

BNZ contracts US firm to manage KiwiSaver investments

BNZ Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Bank of New Zealand has contracted out the management of some of its KiwiSaver investments to a United States firm, allowing it to drop fees.

The bank will scrap its $1.95 monthly member fee from today and reduce the cost of managing its more risky funds.

Fees for its moderate, balanced and growth funds will fall from 0.9-1.1 percent to a flat 0.58 percent.

Research BNZ commissioned found 55 percent of the public were concerned they would not have enough money to retire, with those aged 30 to 49 the most worried.

Read here for more on this story.

Westpac NZ makes $555m profit in six months

Westpac Bank sign on Queen Street, Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Westpac New Zealand has reported a solid lift in first half profit, but warns margins are under pressure as credit growth slows.

The bank's cash profit rose 15 percent to $555 million in the six months ended March, but just 7 percent when proceeds from the sale of its stake in the payments company Paymark was excluded.

Net operating income rose 6 percent to $1.25 billion.

The bank, which is owned by Australia's Westpac Group, said net interest margins were 2.23 percent, while customer deposits and loans each grew 4 percent year on year.

Read here for more on this story.

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