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Gone fishing: How lifestyle, leisure and fast food chains have cashed in on Covid


Queensland’s retail sector has provided a spark of vibrancy with major chains Super Retail Group and Domino’s reporting bumper profits.

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The results show that Australians were still pursuing their favourite activities despite the lockdowns, and take-away foods remained a top option in lockdowns.

Corporate Travel also reported signs of a recovery in its fourth-quarter but reported a significant loss for the year and said a recovery in its business in Australia and New Zealand had been significantly delayed by Sydney’s ongoing restrictions.

Super Retail, which owns brands such as BCF and Super Cheap Auto, recorded a record $301 million net profit, an increase of 173 per cent on the previous year.

Shareholders will receive a 55 cent final dividend. Its shares were down slightly to $13.09.

Group sales for Super Retail were $3.45 billion and on a same-store basis it increased by 23 per cent.

Managing director Anthony Heraghty said the result was driven by “unprecedented consumer demand in our lifestyle and leisure categories”.

He said the “omni-retail” strategy allowed it to shift to online channels to meet shifts in consumer behaviour during lockdowns.

Super Cheap Auto sales were up 17 per cent to $1.3 billion. Rebel was up 15.3 per cent to $1.2 billion. BCF was up 49 per cent to $797 million (online sales grew by 90 per cent) and Macpac was up 16 per cent to $153 million.

Domino’s underlying earnings before interest and tax of $293 million, a 27 per cent increase on network sales of $3.7 billion.

Its dividend payout ratio increased to 80 per cent from 70 per cent. It will pay 85.1 cents a share (70 per cent franked).

Domino’s shares jumped more than 6 per cent to a record $135.

“After delivering above-outlook new store openings in 2021 and with investments planned in store development and franchise growth, management expects new store openings in the medium term to continue at pace, lifting the three to five year outlook for new stores to nine to 12 per cent,” the company said.

The outlook for capital expenditure has also grown from a maximum $100 million to as much as $150 million.

It said the pandemic restrictions were still affecting it, mostly in take-away sales, but online sales were strong.

Corporate Travel Management also reported “a rapid return” to positive underlying earnings in the fourth quarter, but still posted a bottom line loss of $57.8 million.

Managing director Jamie Pherous said the rapid turnaround came from North America and Europe where significant progress had been made with vaccinations.

“We continue to see encouraging signs that momentum is building in these regions. July has delivered a record revenue result (post Covid),” he said.

“The lucrative trans-Atlantic and intra-European segments reopening or expected to re-open in the first half of 2022 and should materially contribute to group revenue and profitability in both regions.”

Australia and New Zealand was profitable throughout the year with underlying earnings of $7.7 million, but the Sydney lockdown would mean a significant recovery would be delayed.




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