The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the dimension and the outlook of most of the businesses across the globe. Many companies in the present situation are struggling to come out of this unprecedented situation. Due to the pandemic, many companies were forced to temporarily close their businesses to prevent the spread of the virus.
The situation in Australia has improved over the past couple of weeks. With the coronavirus situation largely under control, the focus will now shift towards reviving the hard-hit economy. The government is easing restrictions in the country with businesses coming back on track and resuming their respective operations.
In this article, we would be looking at companies from diverse sectors and see the recent updates which have brought them under the spotlight.
Ocean Grown Abalone Limited (ASX:OGA)
Ocean Grown Abalone Limited is engaged in the commercialization of abalone ranching in Australia.
Ocean Grown Abalone Limited recently on 30 April 2020, provided its quarterly update for the period ended 31 March 2020.
- Abalone sales during the quarter increased by 8% to 41.9 tonnes as compared to the previous corresponding period (pcp).
- Production improved by 10% to 42.3 tonnes in Q3FY2020 on pcp.
- OGA in the present scenario is looking for all sales opportunities. As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the world abalone markets have become passive. The company feels that there is a possibility of sales competition and pricing pressure.
- OGA will continue to preserve and seed its oceanic reefs, focussing on operationally improving the business to address the impact of COVID-19.
ABA sent eight tonnes of abalone shells for Vietnam:
As highlighted by the company in its March 2020 quarter update, that the company would be looking for sales opportunities. Recently, the company has sent eight tonnes of abalone shells for Vietnam. The sale of abalone shell has introduced a new revenue stream to the business.
On 15 May 2020, OGA shares closed at AU$0.099, down 1% from the previous close.
BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX:BSL)
Serving the markets in Australia, the US, and New Zealand, BlueScope Steel Limited is engaged in the production and distribution of steel products.
Steel manufacturing company, BlueScope Steel Limited on 15 May 2020 confirmed that its system was affected by a cyber incident. Because of this, there has been a disruption in its operations. However, its North Star, Asian and New Zealand businesses mostly remained unaffected with minor interruptions.
BSL’s manufacturing and sales operations in Australian have been impacted, and some businesses are even paused. Other processes like steel despatches continue with some manual processes & workarounds.
Increase and Extension of Tenor of Bank Facility:
BlueScope on 7 May 2020 announced that it strengthened its liquidity position by improving its revolving facility which includes the lifting of the size of the facility to AU$1,205 million.
On 15 May 2020, BSL shares closed at AU$10.070, up by 2.755% from the previous close.
Boral Limited (ASX:BLD)
Boral Limited is engaged in the manufacture and supply of building and construction materials.
On 15 May 2020, the company made two big announcements. The first is the change in the senior executives, and the second is the completion of the new debt facilities. It also updated on the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the business.
Change in Senior Executives:
- David Marine, who is presently the President and CEO of Boral North America would step down from his position my May 2020 end.
- Darren Schulz, the present President of Boral Roofing North America, will become the Acting President & CEO of Boral North America.
- Eric Miller, the existing Vice President, Sales & Marketing Roofing, will become the Acting President, Roofing North America.
- Ross Harper, who was Group President Operation, after four months of medical leave will move into a more focused position as Group President, HSE, Sustainability, Innovation & Operations Excellence.
Completion of new debt facilities:
Boral Limited has increased as well as extended its debt financing facilities with a new US Private Placement note issue of US$200 million, sanctions for new bilateral two-year bank loan facilities totalling AU$365 million; & approvals to extend US$665 million of the BRL’s current US$750 million debt facility from July 2021 to June 2024.
The company reported a significant impact of COVID-19 on its people and markets and expected that it would continue for some time. Actions have already been taken on that front and are continuing to respond to changes.
On 15 May 2020, BLD shares closed at AU$2.51, down 2.335% from the previous close.
Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (ASX:CCL)
Coca-Cola Amatil Limited is engaged in the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of beverages.
Appointment of Greg Barnes as Group Chief Financial Officer:
On 15 May 2020, the company announced the appointment of Greg Barnes as the Group Chief Financial Officer and would commence his role from 1 June 2020.
Greg has nine years of experience as CFO in an ASX-listed environment. Recently, he held positions at Nine Entertainment and before that he was working with CSR Limited. Greg also has deep expertise as well as leadership across all financial functions. Also, he understands complex logistics, manufacturing & services businesses in various industry sectors.
On 15 May 2020, CCL shares closed at AU$8.59, down 0.232% from the previous close.
Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX:RHC)
Ramsay Health Care Limited is a global health care company and has established its reputation for operating superior services and providing outstanding patient care.
Binding Heads of Agreement with The NSW Ministry of Health:
On 15 May 2020, the company has signed binding heads of agreement with the NSW Ministry of Health (NSW). Under this agreement, the company would make its facilities & services accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would also provide certain pandemic support functions at NSW Health’s request.
The present agreement replaces the Non-Binding Terms that were applicable since 31 March 2020. The initial term of the contract started on 14 May 2020. It would continue as per the date advised by the Commonwealth as the last day covered by the private hospital financial viability payment under the National Partnership Contract. Further, the initial term may get extended by NSW Health for 12 months after the original expiry date for NSW Health.
On 15 May 2020, RHC shares closed at AU$64.13, down 3.236% from the previous close.
Myer Holdings Limited (ASX:MYR)
Myer Holdings Limited is engaged in the operation of 66 department stores across Australia.
COVID-19 Business Update:
Myer Holdings on 22 April 2020 provided a 2nd business update concerning the coronavirus pandemic. Myer highlighted that the health & well-being of its clients, team members, their families, as well as the broader communities, is their highest priority. It completely supports the ongoing government actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 virus.
Myer confirmed that it would monitor the government measures over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, its online business would remain operational during the temporary closure of the store and simultaneously ensure a safe & hygienic environment for online team members.
The online business is available 24/7 and has performed strongly since the closure of physical store on 29 March 2020.
On 15 May 2020, MYR shares closed at AU$0.25, down 1.961% from the previous close.
Michael Hill International Limited (ASX:MHJ)
Michael Hill International Limited operates a retail jewellery chain of more than 300 Michael Hill and Emma & Roe stores located in Australia, the US, Canada, and New Zealand. The Company owns two brands: Emma & Roe and Michael Hill.
On 15 May 2020, the company provided a business update where it highlighted that due to the COVID-19 outbreak all its 301 stores temporarily its operations. Now, it is planning to reopen its store network in all networks, keeping all safety protocols in place.
After an initial trial across select stores around 100 stores in Australia and 25 stores in New Zealand will start operating from Saturday 16 May 2020. The remaining stores in both these locations would open in the coming months.
Apart from this, the Group has delivered strong digital trading growth. The digital sales were above the previous record Christmas 2019 levels for the last three weeks.
The company at present would focus on cost reduction to remove non-essential expenses as well as the cost of doing business.
On 15 May 2020, MHJ shares closed at AU$0.33, down 8.33% from the previous close.
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