by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Financial Review : October 17th 2006
FBA 017 *Offer available to approved applicants who connect to $349 Business Cap with $50 Mobile Office for 24 months. Minimum monthly spend of $349 for Business Cap and $50 for Mobile Office and total minimum cost over 24 months is $9,576 excluding additional handset repayments and additional or excluded service costs. Early Exit Fee of $174.50 x remaining months left on 24 month contract applies if not connected for 24 months. Included Value shared between 2 to 8 mobiles in the same Business User Group. Some services excluded from Included Value. Unused monthly Included Value is forfeited at the end of each monthly billing cycle. Free calls between mobiles in the same Business User Group, in Australia. Includes a credit of $2000 towards new handsets at RRP (incl GST), eg Nokia 6103. Nokia 6103 may be locked to the Vodafone network. Vodafone will supply your unlock code free of charge. Offer subject to change and available at selected Vodafone stores while stocks last. Vodafone Pty Limited ABN 76 062 954 554. Make the most of now Business Cap + Mobile Office Connect to the $349 Business Cap and $50 Mobile Office for 24 months and we'll give you*: $1400 worth of standard calls to share a month FREE unlimited calls between your team 6 x Nokia 6103s Work as a team even when you're apart Call 138 328 to speak with a Business Consultant + = + + "My events aren't all champers & air kisses, they're like a military operation." Bianca Moran, CEO, Couture Communications and Events The Australian Financial Review www.afr.com Tuesday 17 October 2006 17 COMPANIES Price war leaves a bad smell Fiona Tyndall More and more retailers are stocking perfume at very low prices. Photo: CRAIG ABRAHAM The fiercely competitive fragrance sector is set for consolidation with the closure of Hutchison Whampoa-owned chain The Per- fume Shop in Australia and a takeover bid for The Perfume Con- nection. Discount fragrance retailer The Perfume Connection, which is part owned by ANZ Banking Group's private equity division, revealed last week it had received takeover approaches. Founder Pat McCarthy con- firmed the chain had fielded inquir- ies from more than one interested party, but said there had been no firm offer. The 14-year-old company has 54 stores selling imported fragran- ces for considerably reduced prices. ''We have had a couple of approaches,'' Mr McCarthy said. ''I think there is going to be some rationalisation in the industry. ''There is a bit happening in the sector in pharmacy, with the offer for API [Australian Pharmaceutical Industries by Sigma Pharmaceut- icals], changes in Myer and the new Coles strategy.'' Mr McCarthy declined to put a value on the business or reveal any details of the approaches. The news comes as fierce com- petition in the $635 million perfume retailing market forces Hong Kong- based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa to withdraw its specialist perfume group, The Perfume Shop, from Australia. Owned through the company's retail division AS Watson, The Perfume Shop operated nine Aus- tralian stores, but has closed one and will close the remaining stores over the next 12 months. The managing director of the UK-based company, Melanie Wadeley, said Australia was the most competitive fragrance market she had seen, as the rise of heavily discounted imported or ''grey'' products cut into margins. Parallel importing was intro- duced locally in 1999, allowing products to be dumped in Australia by overseas retailers or dealers, then sold to consumers at heavily dis- counted prices. Most perfumes imported under the system sell for 5 to 20 per cent below recommended retail prices, although the price gap can reach 50 per cent. The market has taken off during the past two to three years and Coles Myer's Kmart and Target chains recently decided to buy parallel imports. According to distributors, per- fume sales at David Jones and Myer also have been cut by the influx of grey products. Ms Wadeley said retailers such as The Perfume Shop, which bought perfume from authorised dealers as opposed to parallel importers, but that tried to compete with parallel importers on price, were at risk. The Perfume Shop buys only from brand owners or authorised distributors, whereas The Perfume Connection imports about 40 per cent of its stock ± a legal and widespread practice ± and buys the rest from local distributors. ''The market here had been flooded with parallel product through a wide range of outlets,'' Ms Wadeley said. ''Now more and more retailers are stocking [products at] exceed- ingly low prices. The price of fragrance is falling weekly and it makes it very difficult to compete with parallel product that has flooded in, mainly from the US. ''Australia is one of the worst affected markets in the world. Some of the prices represent 30 to 40 per cent below trade prices in Europe.'' Biofuels float abandoned Tracy Lee Investor ambivalence towards the biofuels sector has forced the withdrawal of a $75 million prospectus for Jupiter Biofuels, the second float after Global Ethanol to flounder this year. Shareholders in junior gold explorer Jupiter Energy were set to vote on spinning off Jupiter Biofuels at the coming annual meeting but that resolution has been withdrawn, the company confirmed yesterday. But the proposed biodiesel facility which was to be funded through the float will proceed. The board of Jupiter Energy said it would continue with the building of the biodiesel facility in Kuantan Port, Malaysia. ''The directors believe the project is extremely viable and will generate significant value for shareholders, but to ensure the project remains on track, funding of some $40 million and $50 million will need to be secured before the end of 2006,'' the company said. Gregg Taylor from Bridges Financial Services, the lead broker on the float, said it was likely the funds would be raised from a share placement of Jupiter Energy shares. Investor sentiment towards the biofuels sector has cooled after several companies which listed this year, including Australian Biodiesel Group, Australian Renewable Fuels and Sterling Biofuels have underperformed their issue prices.