ASX 200 falls, Melbourne lockdown bites, Baby Bunting drops

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) fell 0.6% today in reaction to Melbourne’s lockdown. The Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX:BBN) share price fell.
The post ASX 200 falls, Melbourne lockdown bites, Baby Bunting drops appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX 200

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fell by 0.6% today to 6,807 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:

Victoria goes into lockdown

From midnight tonight, the whole of Victoria will enter a 5-day lockdown to act as a “circuit breaker” against the spread of the UK strain of COVID-19 which saw the total number of cases reach 13.

Victoria will go back to stage 4 restrictions which will see people only be able to leave for four reasons: essential work, exercise, care and caregiving and shopping for essential supplies. The exercise and shopping will be only for a 5km distance from home. Masks will need to be worn everywhere except in your own home, with no visitors.

Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX: BBN)

The baby and infant product retailer released its FY21 half-year result today.

It reported that total sales increased by 16.6% to $217.3 million against the 26-week prior corresponding period. Same store sales growth was 15%, or 21.8% excluding Victorian stores.

Total online sales growth was 95.9%, with click and collect sales growth of 218%.

Baby Bunting’s gross profit margin went up 41 basis points to 37.4%. Pro forma earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew by 29.7% to $18.5 million. Pro forma net profit after tax (NPAT) grew 43.5% to $10.8 million, with statutory NPAT growing 54.7% to $7.5 million.

The company decided to declare a fully franked interim dividend of 5.8 cents per share, up from 4.1 cents per share.

Comparable store sales growth in the first six weeks of the second half of FY21 was “strong” at 18.5%, bringing year to date growth to 15.7%.

Baby Bunting managing director Matt Spencer said: “Maternity and baby goods are essential products for parents and parents-to-be and are less discretionary in nature. Our strong comparable store and total sales growth performance demonstrates that we continue to deliver on our strategy of growing market share.

“We still have over 90% of sales occurring or being completed in our stores highlighting the importance of our store network across Australia.”

The company also announced that it plans to launch a physical retail store network in New Zealand.

The Baby Bunting share price fell 6.6% today in response.  

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

Crown continued to be in the news today after director and chairman Andrew Demetriou resigned from his positions.

However, the casino business denied that CEO and managing director Ken Barton had resigned. The company said that Crown and Mr Barton are continuing to consider his position.

The operating conditions for Crown Melbourne has been halted because of the Melbourne lockdown.

All gaming activities will cease from midnight tonight, as will food and beverage, retail, banqueting and conference facilities other than for the provision of takeaway meals or meal delivery services. Hotel accommodation can continue to be provided in a reduced capacity.

The Crown share price fell by 1.6% in response.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post ASX 200 falls, Melbourne lockdown bites, Baby Bunting drops appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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