Dream­time de­signs come to life in silk

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - NICK DAL­TON

BHP Bil­li­ton has flagged a larger than ex­pected $ US2.8 bil­lion ($ A3.7 bil­lion) hit to its full- year earn­ings flow­ing from write­downs in its US oil and gas as­sets.

The min­ing gi­ant an­nounced the pre- tax write­downs yesterday, say­ing they were mostly linked to its gas­fo­cused Hawkville field in Texas. The com­pany in­sisted the move did not re­flect the u n d e r l y i n g qual­ity of its broader on­shore US o p e r a t i o n s , and it plans to in­vest $ US1.5 bil­lion in the busi­ness in the 2016 fi­nan­cial year.

“With in­dus­try- lead­ing drilling costs and re­cov­er­ies, we are well po­si­tioned to re­alise sig­nif­i­cant value for share­hold­ers as we de­velop our high- qual­ity re­source base,” BHP’s petroleum pres­i­dent Tim Cutt said.

BHP shares fell by as much as 1.8 per cent shortly af­ter the an­nounce­ment, but re­cov­ered some of those losses to close 20c lower at $ 26.90.

IG Mar­kets strate­gist Evan Lu­cas said the write­down was big­ger than ex­pected.

“Clearly the fore­cast­ing and oper­a­tions per WTI ( West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate) oil was a lot higher than what ac­tu­ally they’ve man­aged to ex­tract in the 2015 fi­nan­cial year,” Mr Lu­cas said.

All four of BHP’s di­vi­sions were see­ing prices that had not been forecast, putting pres­sure on mar­gins, Mr Lu­cas added. “It’s play­ing catch- up,” he said.

“( BHP) has low costs but clearly the price is off­set­ting that, and the mar­gin squeeze is re­ally hurt­ing them, and that may be why they’re hav­ing to take quite a large im­pair­ment charge.’’ FOR­MER North Queens­land Cowboys boss De­nis Keefe has com­bined his busi­ness ex­per­tise with the pas­sion of in­dige­nous fine arts guru Char­maine Saun­ders to cre­ate new Abo­rig­i­nal silk la­bel Mainie in Cairns.

The pair have launched an ex­clu­sive and lim­ited range of lux­u­ri­ous silk fash­ions fea­tur­ing Dream­time de­signs. They say the 12 unique de­signs of scarfs, wraps, sarongs and tops are “sun- drenched in glo­ri­ous colour inspired by and re­flect­ing the nat­u­ral beauty of the Aus­tralian out­back”.

“Many years in the mak­ing, Mainie rep­re­sents a spe­cial meld­ing of an­cient cul­tures: Abo­rig­i­nal Dream­time de­signs from the Yuen­dumu com­mu­nity in Cen­tral Aus­tralia’s Tanami Desert and lux­u­ri­ous silk fab­rics from the fa­bled Silk Rd city of Nan­jing in China,” they said in a state­ment.

While the prod­ucts are prin­ci­pally sold online from $ 180, a shop front has been set up in the heart of Cairns.

Mainie’s maiden col­lec­tion, com­prised of 12 de­signs of silk scarfs and wraps, is now avail­able at www. mainie. com and via whole­sale dis­tri­bu­tion to a range of re­tail­ers.

The first phase is fo­cus­ing on the key tourism cen­tres of Port Dou­glas, Palm Cove, Cairns, Mis­sion Beach, Whit­sun­days and Great Bar­rier Reef is­lands, Sun­shine Coast, Gold Coast and Syd­ney.

The maiden col­lec­tion in­cludes lux­u­ri­ous gift pack­ag­ing and prove­nance as well as free ship­ping within Aus­tralia.

Mr Keeffe’s busi­ness back­ground has spanned a long ca­reer in man­age­ment for ma­jor multi­na­tional com­pa­nies, as well as chief ex­ec­u­tive roles for na­tional sport­ing teams and most re­cently as chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Cen­tral Queens­land NRL bid.

Pic­ture: ANNA ROGERS

BRIGHT IDEA: Char­maine Saun­ders and De­nis Keeffe with their new Mainie range of Abo­rig­i­nal de­signs on silk.

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