Reporting season 2022: Cochlear, Nanosonics soar post lockdowns

Posted: 22 February 2022 10:24 am
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Reporting season is underway with investors gaining a snapshot of how businesses are actually performing.

On a jam-packed day, investors gained a glimpse into how a grocer, healthcare provider and online ecommerce business have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here's what you need to know:

Coles

One of the major winners during the first lockdowns has seen its fortunes reverse as the supermarket giant delivers modest sales growth up to 31 December 2021.

According to its latest statement, revenue was up 1% to $20.785 billion, while profits after taxes are down 2% to $549 million.

As such, investors will receive a 33 cent interim dividend.

However, this reflects a lockdown period which saw elevated sales in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, as well as strong Christmas sales through its supermarket and liquor stores.

Although it's worth pointing out that Coles numbers are now compared with 2020 which also had elevated sales due to lockdowns.

The company gave no guidance to the second half of the financial year due to the ongoing Omicron situation.

Investors reacted positively to the latest news with the Coles share price lifting 1.73% to $17.03.

Cochlear

Medical device company Cochlear has announced strong sales off the back of sound processor upgrades and new acoustic implant products.

Sales revenue increased 10% (12% constant currency) to $815 million, while implant units increased 7% to 18,598.

Cochlear said its net profits slid 28% to $169.3 million in the 6 months to 31 December due to COVID-induced elective surgery bans, both here and in the United States.

But the hearing implant giant will increase its dividends to shareholders by 35% to $1.55, and announce a brighter future ahead.

The company spoke of strong growth in the future, highlighting FY22 underlying net profits ranging between $265-285 million, or an increase between 13-22%.

It also points to improving gross margins and lower-than-expected operating expenses.

Shares in Cochlear were up 3.98% to $197.83.

Nanosonics

A leader in infection prevention solutions has today shaken off the COVID-19 pandemic announcing a strong rebound in growth during the second half of last year.

Surprisingly a medical cleaning device saw a material decrease in sales during COVID as hospitals focused on their own products and services.

As such, during its 6 months until 31 December 2021, the company saw a strong rebound with revenue up 41% to $60.6 million.

Importantly, as Nanosonics runs on a "razor and blade model", new base units were up 12% over the last year.

"The first half of the 2022 financial year has seen strong growth compared with the first half the 2021 financial year, which was materially impacted by COVID-19," said Michael Kavanagh, Nanosonics' chief executive officer and president.

"Despite the significant and rapid increase in infections in the first half of FY22 associated with the Delta and more recently the Omicron variants and the associated impacts on hospital staff shortages and procedure volumes, the Company maintained the positive momentum achieved in the second half of FY21.

Shares in Nanosonics fell 5.51% to $4.46 following today's announcement.

Jumbo Interactive

Oz Lotto and Powerball operator, Jumbo Interactive has increased its dividends, after announcing a strong half year report.

In its latest statement to the ASX the company's revenue rose 29% to $52.8 million, while underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation climbed 18% to $28.3 million.

The company points out that total transaction values are up 41% to $327.9 million.

As such, the company will now pay a fully franked interim dividend of 22 cents, which is up 22% on the corresponding period last year.

Jumbo Interactive CEO and founder Mike Veverka notes the company's positive momentum across its business.

"Lottery Retailing continues to perform exceptionally well, underpinned by the improved jackpot cycle and our focus on player engagement and retention. Our SaaS and Managed Services segments continue to demonstrate good organic growth, with all our Australian SaaS clients contributing on a full run-rate basis," he told the ASX.

Shares in Jumbo Interactive fell 2.46% to $17.84 following today's update.

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