Harvey repays JobKeeper

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 : 1-Sep-21

Consumer electronics and furniture retailer Harvey Norman has posted a 2020-21 net profit of $841.41m, which is 75.1 per cent higher than previously. Revenue rose by 14.9 per cent to $9.721bn, while its Australian sales were up 12.8 per cent at $6.95bn. Harvey Norman’s stores in seven overseas markets recorded profit growth of 58.3 per cent, to $240.79m. Meanwhile, chairman Gerry Harvey has advised that the group will repay some $6.02m worth of taxpayer support that it received via the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. Harvey Norman received about $22m worth of JobKeeper payments in total.

CORPORATES
HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HVN

No peace deal: Lew rejects Myer offer of board seat

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Jul-21

Premier Investments’ chairman Solomon Lew has called for Myer Holdings’ three remaining independent directors to step down. He contends that $760m of shareholder value had been lost since his listed retail investment vehicle become Myer’s biggest shareholder in 2017. Lew adds that Premier has "nothing to gain" by engaging with Myer’s current board, after the department store group’s acting chair JoAnne Stephenson offered to provide his company with "appropriate" board representation. Lew has been advocating board renewal at Myer for several years.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, PREMIER INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX PMV

Lew increases stake, rips into disastrous Myer

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 7-Jul-21

Myer Holdings’ shares rose 15 per cent to $0.425 on 6 July, after revelations that businessman Solomon Lew has increased his stake prompted speculation of a takeover bid. Lew’s Premier Investments lifted its stake in Myer to 15.77 per cent on 5 July, and further share purchases on the following day is believed to have increased this to around 18 per cent. Lew says Myer’s performance has been disastrous for shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers. He has also criticised Myer’s board over its lack of progress regarding the appointment of a successor to former chairman Garry Hounsell.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, PREMIER INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX PMV

Employment surge turns up heat on rates

Original article by Tom Dusevic
The Australian – Page: 4 : 6-Jul-21

Further indications that the Australian economy is continuing to strengthen may prompt the Reserve Bank to increase the cash rate earlier than expected. There was three per cent growth in job advertisements during June, according to data from the ANZ Bank, and the number of job ads is now 39.1 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, revised data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that retail spending increased by 0.4 per cent in May and 7.7 per cent over the year to May. The COVID-19 lockdown in Greater Sydney is tipped to hit retail sales for June, although economists expect any impact to be short-lived.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards 2020: Australia’s winning retailers announced

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

The annual Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards were awarded in locked down Melbourne in early June. As usual, the awards in the retail category went to a mix of first timers and veterans. Among those enjoying their moment in the customer satisfaction spotlight for the first time were Schnitz as the Quick Service Restaurant of the Year with six monthly customer satisfaction awards and Chemist Warehouse as Chemist/Pharmacy of the Year. There were seven repeat winners led by Myer as Department Store of the Year for a sixth straight year, Bunnings Warehouse as Hardware Store of the Year for a fourth year in a row, Rebel as Sports Store of the Year for the sixth consecutive year and perhaps most impressively of all The Reject Shop confirming its dominance in the field as the Discount Variety Store of the Year for the ninth year running (2012-2020). First Choice Liquor (Liquor Store of the Year), The Athlete’s Foot (Shoe Store of the Year) and Subway (Major Quick Service Restaurant of the Year) all built on their victories in 2019 to complete back-to-back victories in their respective categories for the first time.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Economy gets caffeine hit as spending soars

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 22-Apr-21

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that retail sales increased by 1.4 per cent nationwide in March, after falling by 0.8 per cent in February. Retail sales grew by 5.5 per cent in Western Australia and four per cent in Victoria, with both states having been affected by snap COVID-19 lockdowns in February. Consumer spending totalled $30.7bn overall in March, which is 10.6 per cent above pre-pandemic levels. The growth in retail sales has been driven by service-oriented businesses such as cafes and restaurants.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Retailers set to lift prices as shipping costs soar

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 7-Apr-21

Australian retailers note that shipping costs have tripled in the last 12-15 months, and they will inevitably have to pass some of these costs on to consumers. The cost of shipping goods from China has surged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while The Reject Shop’s CEO Andre Reich says spot shipping rates have blown out to about $2,500; this compares with $US450 to $US500 for contracted rates. Some retailers have indicated that they intend to absorb the increased freight costs.

CORPORATES
THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

E-commerce is booming: PwC

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 : 29-Mar-21

PwC has reported that non-food online sales recorded more than five years’ growth in just 11 months, due to the pandemic. The increase in both food and non-food online sales during the pandemic was reflected in the latest reporting season, with Woolworths reporting that its online sales rose by 92 per cent in the December half, while furnishings and bedding retailer Adairs advised that its online sales had increased by 95.2 per cent. Pure-play online marketplace Kogan stated that its sales rose almost 90 per cent, while Myer’s online sales increased by 71 per cent. Vanessa Brennan from PwC says that the consumer is "now in charge" and that this means that innovation is "now business as usual".

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ADAIRS LIMITED – ASX ADH, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, KOGAN.COM LIMITED – ASX KGN

Amazon tops $1bn sales but still in red

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Feb-21

Digital giant Amazon has advised that its Australian arm posted a loss of $3.8m in 2020, following a $2.5m loss previously. However, Amazon Australia boasted total sales of $1.12bn in 2020, compared with just $562.1m in 2019. The company’s online stores recorded sales totalling $511m, while its subscription services’ sales rose from $35.4m to $90m. Amazon entered the local market in late 2017, and it now employs nearly 1,000 people in Australia.

CORPORATES
AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED

No going back: AusPost delivers as online shopping takes off

Original article by Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 11-Jan-21

Australia Post has advised that it delivered a record 52 million parcels during December, which is 20 per cent higher year-on-year. Acting CEO Rodney Boys says the postal service recorded strong growth in parcel deliveries throughout 2020, noting that the structural shift to online shopping is likely to be sustained. Boys adds that Australia Post hired an additional 5,000 people and ramped up its fleet of delivery vans to meet the December rush, and many of the extra resources will be retained. He says it will also bring forward some of its future investment plans.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST