This is episode number thirty in our series for 2020 and today’s date is Friday, August 28.
First I talk to Jarron Aizen, the founder, and CEO of OneFitStop. Jarron is an entrepreneur immersed in the health and fitness industry with a passion to leverage technology to create efficiencies and experiences. OneFitStop is now being used by gyms around the world to adjust to coronavirus.
And then I’ll be talking AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver about the profit reporting season.
But now, let’s talk to Jarron Aizen.
It’s AMP’s #MeTo moment. AMP chairman David Murray has resigned, effective immediately, as has AMP director and former treasury secretary, John Fraser. The financial services company has been rocked by a series of sexual harassment complaints affecting senior managers, with allegations the company and its board of directors failed to handle them appropriately.
The recently appointed head of AMP Capital, Boe Pahari, is also stepping down from that role, effective immediately. Mr. Pahari will resume work at his previous level with the company. AMP’s chief executive, Francesco De Ferrari, will assume leadership of the AMP Capital business for the time being while the company searches for a permanent replacement for Mr. Pahari.
AMP said the resignations of Mr. Murray and Mr. Fraser, and the demotion of Mr. Pahari, are in response to feedback from some major shareholders about the initial promotion of Mr. Pahari to head one of the company’s main business units despite a previous sexual harassment allegation against him.
Australia’s recession will extend into a third quarter, making it the longest slump since 1982-83, and unemployment remains elevated next year due to a tepid recovery, according to Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
It predicts gross domestic product will fall 0.7% in the current quarter after declining 6% in the prior period; the economy contracted 0.3% in the first three months of the year. Australia’s jobless rate is forecast to peak at 9% in the final months of this year and then average 8.8% through 2021, the bank said.
The downward revisions to the bank’s forecasts reflect a renewed lockdown in Victoria, accounting for about a quarter of GDP, which will drag on the national performance. CBA expects only a “modest recovery” in the economy in 2021, forecasting GDP to rise just 1.8% from a year earlier. It predicts the economy won’t return to its pre-COVID level until the second half of 2022 “at the earliest.”
Australia’s labour market recovery staggered in early August, partly due to a sharp fall in Victorian jobs. Australia has a two-speed economy right now, with Victoria creating a considerable drag on our economic recovery. Victorian payrolls have fallen by 7.8% since March 14th, with the impact of the second lockdown similar from a jobs standpoint to the first lockdown. It is a devastating economic blow for Australia’s second-largest economy. Even accounting for Victoria, there is evidence that the recovery has slowed across Australia. Payrolls outside of Victoria are tracking 3.8% below pre-crisis levels. A month ago the decline was just 3.4%.
Labor will pass the government’s Jobkeeper 2.0 legislation, despite concerns it will allow companies no longer receiving wage subsidies to cut workers’ hours by up to 40%. Labor is investigating possible amendments to the bill over concerns it effectively forces workers to pay for the recovery of their employers. But on Tuesday Labor’s caucus agreed to pass the bill, even if amendments are defeated, because it did not want to stand in the way of extending wage subsidies from September to March 2021. Labor will continue to argue against the tapering of Jobkeeper down from $1,500 a fortnight to $1,200 in September then $1,000 in January, but the rate is not dealt with in legislation.
A $600 million deal to sell the maker of Pura milk, Dare iced coffee, and Yoplait yoghurt to a Chinese company has been terminated, after failing to secure the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board. Japanese-owned beverage giant Kirin announced the sale of Lion Dairy and Drinks to Mengniu Dairy last November. But the deal quickly became become ensnared in the broader geopolitical tensions between Australia and China.
Beijing has hit several Australian exporters with trade sanctions, while a number of federal MPs and senators have campaigned against the Lion deal, warning that it could undermine local milk supplies. Last week the Australian Financial Review reported Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had decided he would not give Lion the green light for the sale. In response, Kirin released a statement announcing the deal had been abandoned.
Qantas has revealed plans to outsource ground handling at major Australian airports, including Sydney and Melbourne, as well as at larger regional airports. The plans will likely cut 2,500 jobs across Qantas and Jetstar, on top of the 6,000 job cuts already announced in June this year. The roles include baggage handlers, tug drivers, and cabin cleaners.
Hundreds of Australian staff are being fired at global technology consulting giant Accenture as it moves to cut at least 5% of its global workforce as a result of plummeting demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The global cuts could hit 25,000 staff An initial wave of job losses, targeting the bottom 5% of employees by performance measures, was largely completed by August 14.
Bosses who hold the company purse strings have seen their uncertainty about the economic outlook pushed to new highs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The twice-yearly Deloitte CFO sentiment survey found uncertainty among CFOs about economic conditions has reached a record-high 92%, up from 72% six months earlier. More than three-quarters of respondents see some sort of revenue decreased in the second half of 2020 and nearly three in five expect revenues to be lower than their pre-pandemic expectations in 2021.
Victorian health authorities have released information about the state’s high-risk COVID-19 exposure sites for the first time since the state’s second wave of cases hit. The Department of Health and Human Services published a list of locations of greatest concern, including Bunnings, Coles, and Woolworths stores. Anyone who attended the locations on the date indicated have been urged to watch for coronavirus symptoms.
Apparel retailer Mosaic Brands plans to permanently close up to 38% of its stores, some 500 stores, after crashing to a net loss of $170.5 million in the year ending June. The retailer, which owns Noni B, Katies, Millers, Rockmans, Rivers, Autograph, W Lane, Crossroads, and Beme, closed 1333 stores for nine weeks between April and June, including Mothers Day, leading to a 16.5% drop in sales to $713.6 million. Earlier this month Mosaic closed about 250 stores in Melbourne and regional Victoria for at least six weeks during stage four and stage three restrictions.
And the profit reporting season is winding up.
Strong iron ore prices and strong production drove Fortescue’s net profit 49% higher to $US4.73 billion.
Investment administration platform. Mining Services company Macmahon Holdings reported a 25.1% increase in revenue to $1.38 billion, with profit rising 40.9% to $64.9 million.
Hub24’s statutory net profit after tax landed at $8.2 million, versus $7.2 million in the prior fiscal year.
Regis Resources net profit increased 22% to $200 million in the 2020 financial year as gold sales rose 16 percent to $757 million.
Perseus Mining reported a 10-fold increase in profit from $7.6 million in the 2019 financial year, to $94.4 million in 2020.
Objective Corp has posted a full-year net profit up 23% to $11 million on revenue up 13% to $70 million.
Resimac reported a statutory net profit after tax of $56 million, up 19%, after net interest income rose 60 percent to $188.6 million.
Financial software business Bravura Solutions reports it’s FY 2020 net profit climbed 22% to $40.1 million on sales up 6% to $274.2 million.
Saunders International reported a full-year net profit after tax of $1.3 million, compared to a loss of $1.6 million recorded a year ago.
Ansell’s net profit rose 42% to US$159 million in the year ended June 30, with earnings before interest and tax rising 8.3% to $US219.7 million after the demand for its products surged in the COVID-19 pandemic, triggering three price rises for medical gloves with a fourth to come.
Australian Ethical Investment reported a 22% increase in revenue and a 43% increase in net profit to $9.46 million.
The professional infrastructure and environmental services consultancy company Cardno reported gross revenue of $978.3 million, up 4.4% on the previous year, with underlying EBITDAI pre AASB 16 up 11.1% to $43 million, ahead of guidance.
VGI Partners’s listed investment companies VG1, VG8, and the unlisted VGI Partners Master Fund reported a normalised net profit of $9.9 million (from $24 million), and statutory net profit of $3.6 million, down 82%.
Western Area’s net profit after tax rose 124.7% to $31.9 million.
Perenti Global’s reported underlying net profit after tax of $110.3 million.
APA Group said that its net profit after tax increased to $317.1 million, up 10.1% on a year ago.
Shaver Shop’s full-year net profit was up 44.6% to $10.6m.
Bingo’s full-year net profit surged to $66 million, from $22.3 million, or 3.9¢, last year.
Perth-based Shipbuilder Austal’s full-year net profit increased 45% to $89 million, while revenue rose 13% to $2.08 billion.
Plumbing supplies company Reliance recorded a 32.7% profit drop to $89.4m. Adjusted net profit after tax dropped 17.7% to $130.3m, reflecting charges for restructuring and asset impairments.
Super Retail Group’s net profit fell 21% to $110.2 million in the year ending June 27 as one-off expenses and wage remediation costs offset wage and rent savings and a rebound in sales as consumers emerged from lockdown.
Health insurer NIB’s net profit after tax of $89.2 million was down 40% on the previous year while underlying profit was down 25% to $150.1 million.
oOh!Media has reported a net loss of $27.5 million in the first half of the financial year, with revenues weighed significantly by COVID-19.
Gold Coast-based G8, the largest private-sector childcare operator with 475 centres trading under brands including Jellybeans and Pelican, recorded a $239 million half-year loss.
Clean TeQ Holdings has reported a heavy loss of $197.7 million for the 2020 financial year, with revenue slumping 75% to $1.17 million during the year.
Retail landlord Aventus Group’s funds from operations increased 4.2% to $100 million, while statutory net profit fell to $56.7 million from $110.4 million.
Sleep treatment business SomnoMed narrowed its net loss to $1.1 million on revenue down 3% to $57.3 million. EBITDA or operating income came in 5% lower at $4.7 million, which included $2.2 million in government payments.
Monash IVF’s net profit fell 40.9% to $11.7 million on revenue down 4.3% to $145.4 million. Return on equity fell to 5.7%.
Boral said it expects full-year EBITDA before significant items to be around $800 million to $825 million, with net profit after tax before one-offs to be around $175 million to $180 million.
Superloop has achieved its earnings guidance for the 2020 financial year, with EBITDA rising 58.5% to $13.5 million.
Media intelligence business iSentia has reported an FY 2020 net loss of $4.9 million due in part to it taking $10.8 million in costs associated with the closure of its North Asia business.
Total revenue fell from $12.2 million in FY 2019 to $110.3 million.
Blackmore’s net profit after tax slipped 66.1% to $18.1 million.
Alumina reported a 57% fall in half-year net profit to $90.5 million.
Ampol swung to a statutory net loss of $625.9 million in the half-year to the end of June, from a profit of $156.1 million a year ago.
Scentre Group has reported a $3.6 billion loss in the first half after its property valuations were slashed by more than $4 billion.
Qube Holdings reported a 56% drop in statutory net profit to $87.5 million.
IVE Group has reported a $20.2 million loss despite receiving $15.1 million in JobKeeper subsidies through the 2020 financial year.
Seven West Media’s underlying group EBIT slumped 54% to $98.7 million. Seven Group reported a net attributable profit of $115.8 million, down 42.4% from last year.
Propel Funeral Partners’ statutory net profit after tax fell 13.9% to $10.6 million Stockland said that it swung to a statutory financial year net loss of $14 million compared to a profit of $311 million a year ago.
Oil Search reported a net loss of $US266 million, down from a profit of $US161.9 million at the same time last year after writing down the value of its Papua New Guinea exploration assets.
For the full year to June 30, Nanosonics’ net profit slid from 13.6 million to $10.1 million, while its research and development spending increased, as did its operational costs.
Metlifecare swung to a full-year loss of $34 million from a profit of $51.2 million.
Steadfast Group reported a $55.2 million loss for the 2020 financial year.
Cleanaway reported a statutory profit after tax of $112.6 million, down 6.6% on a year ago.
Enterprise software-as-a-service platform Whispir has reported an FY 2020 EBITDA loss of $7.3 million versus a forecast for a loss of $9.4 million in its in June 2019 prospectus.
Adbri reported a half-year underlying net profit after tax fell 13.9% to $47.6 million.
Eagers Automotive said its attributable half-year net profit fell 72.1% to $11.8 million, with revenue up 101.8% to $4.16 billion.
Raiz Invest said that its net loss widened to $4.5 million, from $7.0 million a year ago.
National Storage REIT says demand for its self-storage facilities has “rebounded strongly” since June 30 as it delivered a 16 percent decline in full-year net profit to $121.8 million.
Bigtincan’s FY 2020 net loss has widened to $12.2 million versus $4 million in the prior year.
Ridley Corporation’s revenue fell 3.5% to $967.9 million while profit sunk 136.6%, with Ridley reporting an $8.64 million loss.
Lovisa’s statutory financial year net profit fell 47.8% to $16.7 million. On a pre AASB 16 basis, profit for the year was $19.3 million.
Sunland’s net profit fell to $2.4 million from $17.7 million.
AMA Group has reported a loss of $70.3 million for the 2020 financial year, with challenging market conditions resulting in a decline in repair volumes and pressure on pricing.
Japara Healthcare says its operations have been “significantly impacted” by COVID-19 pandemic, with the company reporting a net loss of $292.1 million.
Whitehaven Coal has reported a $30 million underlying profit, marking an extraordinary turnaround from last year’s record profit. The result suggests Whitehaven only just broke even over the past six months, having reported a $27.4 million half-year profit in February.
Professional services buy now, pay later provider QuickFee recorded a net loss of $3.83 million for 2019-20, widening from $1.15 million.
FlexiGroup’s profit fell by $40.3 million through the 2020 financial year, largely driven by a $30.9 million COVID provision.
Surgical treatment business Next Science says COVID-19 related delays to elective surgical procedures saw revenues for the six months to June 30 fall 55% to $US1.05 million. Its net loss widened 22% to $US6.7 million.
Aurelia Metals’ net profit after tax slid 18% to $29.4 million.
And that’s it for this week. And next week, I’ll be talking to the Australian CEO of global microfinance leader Grameen which is committed to boosting employment through supporting people on low incomes to set up their own small businesses in Australia’s post-COVID future. And I’ll be talking to economist Nicholas Gruen about how governments and bureaucracies should close the gap for indigenous Australians.
In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter at talkingbizz, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn. And if you want, leave a comment. Wishing you all a safe and healthy week and looking forward to bringing you Talking Business next week