Here are the news headlines from the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(ASX: XJO) on Monday morning. Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) has released its 2018 profit result and Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC) has extended its debt facilities.

Here’s the key headline data:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 74.39 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): up 0.5%

Oil (WTI): $US68.56 per barrel

Gold: $US1,273 per ounce

Today’s Featured Article: “First Home Buyers: Don’t Sweat It”

Australian Investing News

Making news in Australia today, supermarkets and hardware business owner, Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS), released its 2018 full year results to the ASX showing a 2.4% increase in sales and a loss of $149.5 million. However, excluding impairment charges, Metcash reported a 10.7% increase in underlying profit.

The IGA, Foodworks and Home Timber & Hardware owner will pay a final dividend of 7 cents per share fully franked and announced a $125 million off-market share buyback.

It was pleasing to see the Group deliver underlying earnings growth despite the continuation of highly competitive and challenging markets, particularly in the Food pillar,” CEO Jeff Adams said.

Outdoor clothing retailer Kathmandu Holdings Limited (ASX: KMD) (NZE: KMD) released a trading update for the financial year to 31 July 2018 (FY18). Higher average selling prices enabled Kathmandu to increase its forecast FY18 profit to between $48 million and $52 million. That compares to a profit of $38 million last year.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ASX: API), the owner of Priceline pharmacy and others, announced it will buy Clearskincare Clinics for $127 million. API will initially acquire a holding of 50.1% and move to 100% ownership in 2021.

API said the Clearskincare acquisition will, “create a leading Australian health and beauty products and services business.” 

Embattled telecommunications business Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC) announced it has closed on a new and increased debt facility of $1.27 billion and NZ$150 million.

“Our new and upsized syndicated debt facility has been structured to provide Vocus with the flexibility required to execute its strategic initiatives over the coming years,” Vocus Chief Financial Officer, Mark Wratten, said. “We would like to thank our existing and new bank group partners for the strong support they have demonstrated.”

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