Fletcher King profits up 40%

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Queenslanders finding grass is greener on the artificial side

first_imgLouie Cush, 3, with his sister Vivie Cush, 5, at an open home at7 Hopetoun Way, New Farm, that’s among many inner-city properties that have opted for artificial grass. Picture: AAP/ Ric Frearson.QUEENSLAND is seeing a rise in households giving up the old lawnmower in favour of fake grass that looks as good as the real thing without having to lift a finger.Time poor households, lifestyle choices and practicality have led to a surge in growth of synthetic grass use across Aussie backyards — with developers also cottoning on to the trend with fake grass lawns in common space on apartment building roofs now very popular.For homeowner Kylie-Ann Frawley — whose award-winning property in New Farm’s prestigious Hopetoun Way attracted buyers because of its location, luxury and low maintenance — it was all about an easier life.“The reason we went down this path was it’s easy to maintain and looks healthy all the time,” she said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus21 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market21 hours agoSynthetic grass improvements now made them relatively indistinguishable from the real thing, according to real estate agent Christine Rudolph.“Fake grass these days is just so realistic. It’s permanently green, ideal for shady areas, safe, all-weather, and you can have any variety of trees around it and the shade won’t affect the lawn with patchy areas. It’s so popular.”She said people were swapping acreage for a low maintenance lifestyle.“The last thing they want to do is spend all weekend out maintaining manicured lawns.”Synthetic turf displays were expected to be among the popular attractions for visitors to the three-day Brisbane Home Show which begins this Friday — running from 9am to 5pm daily at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Online and concession tickets cost $16, at the show it’s $20 while kids under 14 are free.— The Courier-Mailis a partner of the Brisbane Home Show.last_img read more

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Dutch regulator expects number of pension funds to fall to 265

first_imgThe Dutch financial regulator (DNB) has said the number of pension funds is set to drop to 265, having fallen from more than 800 in 2005 to the current total of 325. Speaking at an IIR seminar last week, Johanna Bovenhoff, DNB supervisor for small pension funds, said 60 pension funds were in the process of liquidation, having completed the collective value transfer of pension rights to a new provider.Bovenhoff said the consolidation of Dutch schemes was set to continue, albeit at a slower pace.She said the regulator was now assessing “no more than” three value-transfer applications, attributing the low number to pension funds waiting to see how the new general pension fund (APF) developed. Bovenhoff also observed that the pension funds opting to liquidate were larger than they had been, adding that the 37 schemes that wound up last year had transferred combined assets of €7bn.In 2015, half of the schemes relocated to an insurer.Value transfers to sector-wide pension funds, company schemes and the PPI defined contribution vehicles occurred in 36%, 5% and 9% of the cases, respectively, according to Bovenhoff, who added that most assets (46%) were shifted to industry-wide schemes.Bovenhoff took pains to emphasise that pension funds must inform the regulator early on about any liquidation plans and refrain from adjusting investment policies or signing new contracts.“We don’t want to be presented with a fait accompli,” she said.She said DNB expected companies to start initiating value transfers from insurers to the new low-cost APF once the vehicle was operational.At the moment, the regulator is assessing six applications, for the most part submitted by insurers.“However,” Bovenhoff added, “because the insurer’s guarantee would be replaced for a plan that includes the option of rights cuts, all individual participants must approve such a turnover of pension rights.”Another potential problem for pension funds switching to an APF is when the company cannot afford to plug the funding gap if ringfenced assets within the APF have a higher coverage ratio.Bovenhoff said the scenario could occur if the value paid by an insurer failed to cover the costs of joining an APF.According to the supervisor, the contract between the company and the insurer would determine the value of a transfer.last_img read more

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Swiss funding levels fell in Q1 2018 after 1.3% average loss

first_imgThe bank also noted a drop in global and domestic equity allocations in the portfolios of the Pensionskassen covered by its research.Alternatives were the only asset class that received a greater allocation from investors.  Prevanto, the actuarial consultancy, cited indices including UBS – which reported a 1.3% average decline for the first quarter – Pictet BVG (-1.6%) and Swisscanto (-1.7%).It also recorded a drop in the average funding level of Swiss Pensionskassen, from 113.8% at year-end 2017 to 111% after the first three months of 2018 for private pension funds. The average for public pension funds dropped from 99% to 96.5%.Canton Pensionskassen report 2017 gains Middle Bridge over the Rhine in Basel, SwitzerlandThe CHF10.8bn (€9bn) Aargauische Pensionskasse (APK) reported an 8% return for 2017 in its annual report, while the CHF12.8bn Pensionskasse Basel-Stadt (PKBS) returned 7.3%.The public pension funds’ returns were in line with market average performance for the last year. Depending on the market sample used by various analysts the average return among Swiss pension funds was between 7% and 8% for last year, as previously reported.For APK, the return was mainly supported by global equities (including Switzerland) and domestic real estate.However, the pension fund noted a negative impact from insurance-linked securities (ILS) after major natural disasters hit the market last year.This alternative asset class is being debated by many Swiss pension funds, with some trying to diversify away from ‘catastrophe’ bonds while others making their first foray into ILS. PKBS noted in its annual report that it would make first investments in ILS this year.Both APK and PKBS were well above the average public sector funding level at the end of the year, at 104.4% and 102.5% respectively.Funding was aided by investment performance and an adjustment of the technical parameters, in line with a general trend among Swiss Pensionskassen.  Read more about the Swiss pension system in the June issue of the IPE magazine. Swiss pension schemes’ funding levels fell in the first quarter as returns declined across almost all asset classes, according to market indicators.Credit Suisse and Prevanto published figures for the Swiss pension fund sector for the first quarter of 2018, showing a downturn across almost all asset classes and taking funding levels down a notch.According to Credit Suisse, only real estate and mortgages performed positively through the first three months of the year.Overall, the investment bank calculated an average 1.3% loss across Swiss pension funds, compared to the strong start made in 2017 when funds gained 2.8%. Swiss pension funds returned 8% on average for the whole of 2017.last_img read more

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20-year sponsor Jaz Products renews awards for all IMCA divisions

first_imgSANTA PAULA, Calif. (Feb. 2) – Jaz Products has renewed a contingency award program rewarding drivers in all IMCA divisions during a milestone sponsorship season.The Santa Paula, Calif., high performance parts manufacturer and retailer celebrates its 20th season as a mar­keting partner with the sanctioning body. A total of $14,100 in product certificates will be given to drivers based on national or regional point standings. Champions earn $500 certificates, with $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $75 for fifth place finishers in national point races for IMCA Late Models, IMCA Eagle Motorsports RaceSaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods, Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center Southern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts. Jaz also returns to the national decal program for IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds, with the same $500-$300-$200-$100-$75 payout structure in place for each of the five regions for that division.Modified drivers must display two Jaz decals in designated locations on their race car to be eligible for point fund shares. Jaz Products cer­tificates will be presented during the national banquet in November or mailed from the IMCA home office beginning the following week. Information about Jaz-manufactured seats, fuel cells and pit accessories, as well as safety equipment, seat belts, fuel accesso­ries and race car plumbing available for retail sale, is available by calling 805 525-8800, at the www.jazproducts.com website and on Facebook. “Jaz manufactures a wide range of safety-related products and is one of those organizations that is never at the center of any controversy,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “Their products are first class and the support they provide their dealer network and our members is outstanding. We’re proud to have partnered with Jaz for the last 20 years.”last_img read more

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Serena dismantles Svitolina to reach US Open final

first_imgRelatedPosts Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Thiem claims his first Grand Slam title after thrilling fightback in US Open Serena pulls out of Italian Open A rampaging Serena Williams moved to the brink of a record equaling 24th career Grand Slam title on Thursday storming past Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-1 to book her spot in the US Open final. Since returning to action after the birth of her first child Williams has come agonisingly close to matching Margaret Court’s mark three times and will have a chance on Saturday to do so in front of an adoring home crowd for a second successive year. In 2018 Williams was left in tears following a chaotic and controversial loss to Naomi Osaka on Arthur Ashe Stadium. She has also lost two Wimbledon finals since her return. Now all that stands between the 37-year-old and her Holy Grail is Canadian Bianca Andreescu or Swiss Belinda Bencic, who will meet in the other semi-final later on Thursday. The semi-final offered a classic matchup of styles with Williams and her prodigious power up against Svitolina, one of the best counter punches in the women’s game. Williams did not have her “A” game in warm conditions but the former-world number one knew exactly what was needed particularly on the big points. The fifth seeded Ukrainian had no shortage of chances but could not convert any of six break opportunities. A ruthless Williams, however, bombarded Svitolina with punishing forehands and six aces to register her 101st US Open win, which tied her with Chris Evert for the most at Flushing Meadows. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Elina SvitolinaSerena WilliamsUS Openlast_img read more

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ICC World Cup Pakistani skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed brutally trolled for ‘yawning’ during India game

first_imgNew Delhi: Pakistani skipper Sarfaraz Ahemed had to bear the brunt of his ordinary behaviour during the high octane World Cup 2019 game against India at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday following his team’s crushing defeat. Sarfaraz Ahmed became the obvious target of fans after he was spotted ‘yawning’ behind the stumps after the rain break during the first innings of India vs Pakistan match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Memes on yawning Sarfaraz flooded the Twitter and trolled the Pakistani captain in a brutal way.Below are few of the tweets Good Night @nailainayat pic.twitter.com/CtX1dA6NYP— Hemant Jain (@Hemant_Jain1008) June 16, 2019In one of the biggest encounters of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, India on Sunday thrashed Pakistan by 89 runs (DLS method) in a rain-affected game. With the victory, India extended its winning streak against Pakistan in the World Cup to 7-0.After winning the toss, Pakistan invited India to bat first in overcast English conditions at Old Trafford in Manchester. India started carefully and then blasted the Pakistan bowlers to reach a total of 336, courtesy Rohit Sharma’s stunning century and crucial half centuries by KL Rahul and Virat Kohli.Chasing the target, Pakistan lost their opener Imam-ul-Haq early in the innings. He was removed LBW by Vijay Shankar who struck on his very first ball of the World Cup. After the first wicket, Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) stitched a good 104-run partnership for the second wicket to keep Pakistan in the contest.However, a brilliant delivery from Kuldeep Yadav removed Babar on the last ball of 24th over. After Babar’s wicket, the Pakistani team was all over and lost their next three batsman in for just 12 runs. They ended their innings at 212-6 in 40 overs and lost the game by 89 runs. #IndiaVsPakistanPic1: *Sarfaraz Yawning*Pic2: *Reaction of people in Pakistan* pic.twitter.com/6ZFKeplItG— IMRAN KHAN (@imranmkkhan) June 16, 2019 I’m afraid it’s good night Pakistan.. The blue machine marches on!!! #PakistanVsIndia— Morne Morkel (@mornemorkel65) June 16, 2019 #Sarfaraz after eating Chicken Biryani during that small rain break #IndvsPak #ICCWC2019 pic.twitter.com/6MYL3ttOSs— Zafreen Khan (@zafk19) June 16, 2019 Focus for the gameThem vs Us #IndiaVsPakistan pic.twitter.com/w9Yct1YgiF— Ali Khan Pasha (@iamalipasha) June 16, 2019 For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. #Sarfaraz on high pressure game 😂😂 #yawning #IndiaVsPakistan #cwc19 pic.twitter.com/uLuN7UNRpF— shiva chalise (@Chalisay_) June 16, 2019 Hate to admit it but today there was a professional well-gelled cricket team that was the Indian team & a bunch of stragglers disconnected & led by a yawning captain that passed for the Pak team! Winning & losing r part of the game but there must be a modicum of professionalism!— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) June 16, 2019last_img read more

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Road to Mecca Basketball Championship bounces off today

first_imgTHE Fourth Edition of the Road to Mecca Basketball championship, organised by the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), will bounce off today with three matches at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.The tournament is being sponsored by Banks DIH Limited under the Coca-Cola Brand.The sponsorship cheque and trophies were presented during a simple ceremony at Thirst Park yesterday where president of GABF, Nigel Hinds, received the cheque from Shenisa Fredericks, Brand Trainee of Banks DIH Limited.Hinds thanked Banks DIH Limited and Coca-Cola for partnering with the GABF for the yearend tournament which will climax on December 24 (Christmas Eve) with the grand final.Banks DIH Limited Communications Manager Troy Peters said his company was delighted to be working closely with GABF to promote the development of basketball in Guyana. The participation clubs will be representing Upper Demerara, Berbice, East Coast Demerara, East Banks Demerara and Georgetown.Ten of Guyana’s top basketball clubs – Bounty Colts, Dyna’s Raven, Amelia’s Ward Jets, Half Mile Bulls, Rose Hall Jammers, Victory Valley Royals, Retrieve Raiders, Pacesetters, Plaisance Guardians and Kobras will be vying for top honours.Dyna’s Ravens will square off with Rose Hall Jammers in the opening encounter starting at 17:00hrs to be followed by Bounty Colts against Half Mile Bulls. The final game will bring together Victory Valley Royals versus Plaisance Guardians.Prior to the tip-off, at 15:00hrs there will be the official march past of the 10 competing teams as well as entertainment provided by singer Tiffani Bonner and cheerleaders who will be cheering the teams on, Hinds said.The tournament coordinators are Junior Hercules and Shevon Henry who were also present at the handing-over ceremony.The preliminary matches will be played on December 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 22. The semi-finals will be played off on December 23 and the final on December 24 with all matches at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.last_img read more

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Class of 2016 LB Tim Walton flips commitment from Illinois to Syracuse

first_imgClass of 2016 linebacker Tim Walton has flipped his commitment from Illinois to Syracuse, according to Scout.com. He is the 23nd member of the Orange’s 2016 class and the ninth player to commit in the past four days. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker verballed after taking an official visit to SU this weekend. He is ranked with three stars and as the 52nd best inside linebacker according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings. Walton committed to Syracuse one day after defensive end Joshua Black, another former Illinois commit, chose the Orange.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWalton joins Kenneth Ruff, Andrew Armstrong and Rashad Smith as the fourth linebacker in SU’s 2016 class. The Cass Technical (Michigan) High School product also had offers from Western Michigan, Ball State and Cincinnati. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 26, 2016 at 8:02 pm Contact Paul: pmschwed@syr.edu | @pschweds Related Stories Syracuse football recruiting: Former Illinois commit Joshua Black becomes 4th defensive end in SU’s 2016 classSyracuse football recruiting: 2016 athlete Devin Butler becomes 7th player to choose SU in past 24 hoursSyracuse football recruiting: Safety/OLB Rashad Smith flips commitment from Florida Atlantic to SUSyracuse football recruiting: Jaquwan Nelson becomes 3rd defensive end in 2016 classSyracuse football recruiting: 2016 safety Evan Foster chooses SU after decommitting from Bowling Greenlast_img read more

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Riccardo Mittiga – Sportito – DFS entry a no brainer

first_img All-in Global: ‘Fantastyc’ markets around the world July 16, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon UKGC suspends two licences over failure to integrate GAMSTOP April 3, 2020 Sportito gets green light to expand into Mexico January 9, 2020 Share Submit Share Riccardo Mittiga is the CEO of Asap Italia, a company which recently launched DFS brand Sportito. With the pending merger of DraftKings and FanDuel, and some of the ‘smaller big fish’ in Oulala and Mondogoal opting to switch to strictly B2B in the latter part of the year we spoke to Riccardo about the state of fantasy in Europe, and its future. Riccardo Mittiga, SportitoSBC: Why did you decide to make your entrance into the daily fantasy sports industry this year?Sportito: Deciding to enter DFS in 2016 was a no brainer. After all the buzz generated in US in the past few years the industry enjoyed some growth with two companies (FanDuel and DraftKings) acquiring more than four million customers and over $350 million in revenue.We were aware that Europe seemed to be the next region to be considered by all players in this industry. As a company we have a strong European background and assets (such as traffic and customer base) and therefore we’re in a good position to compete. Moreover, the conventional fantasy football has a significant following in Europe with an estimated player base of 8.5 million in the UK alone.SBC: How much potential do you think DFS has in Europe? And is the future for independent companies in the sector, more B2C or B2B?Sportito: Fantasy sports is massively popular in Europe which is largely thanks to the papers.  I myself have played fantasy football for more than 15 years. Of course it was a far more basic version with only limited data being utilised. DFS is disrupting this industry by adding more fun, more reliable data and, of course, more engagement.At Sportito we will also remove the salary cap restriction, giving players the freedom to choose their players without making them work with a restricted budget. Now that the US has proven it can work and people are interested, the overseas market is coming alive attracting investments in the industry.There is space for both B2C and B2B players. Pure DFS companies will face the challenge of competing both with direct competitors and with bookmakers. The success of DFS companies will be decided both by their background and how much they are focused and committed because being in the B2C is all about the level of engagement and fun you bring to customers.SBC: You say two things that set you apart is that you protect new players from experienced ones and offer ‘more social networking features’, can you explain more about how?Sportito: Protecting new players is a mission for the entire industry. We should learn from the experiences in other gambling sectors and apply the best practices from the online gaming world. New players need to be guided through the game. Our aim is to allow them to win as soon as possible by ensuring they compete with players on the same level as themselves. Customer segmentation and real time offers are vital in reaching this target.Regarding the mention of social networking, we all should know that DFS is offering a completely new experience to the players. We bring real time data and statistics on players that the users can share with friends to get advice on their perfect lineups. DFS is definitely an experience to share. Moreover the contests are created in a way that means you can form a group of friends before entering the game and compete with each other socially.SBC: How pivotal a year for DFS is 2017; is it make or break to acquire new customers and turn them into returning players? What’s your initial strategy to become a known brand?Sportito: A focus on the customer is the key for every b2c business from retail to travel. Because of this common ground we are inspired by leading companies bringing innovation in the industry. For example as is common for streaming on demand platforms, we will offer our clients a free month of usage so the players can experience the platform without any constraints or commitment.Customers make wise choices and brand recognition is extremely important when you want to conquer a market. Sportito has developed a peer to peer brand awareness strategy that will help to boost our brand and at the same time explain the exciting aspects of DFS. We will be ensuring that we’re physically present where our potential players frequent. This includes being in stadiums, pubs, sports shops, football clubs, and more. We are assembling a team of ten in London to realise this plan.last_img read more

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