• The ASX has broken a four-day losing streak with the ASX 200 finishing Friday trade up 0.30%
  • Brambles Group rises 8% after strong H1 FY23 results with ability to pass on inflationary costs
  • Omni Bridgeway falls 17% today after reporting a net loss after tax of $30.1 million in H1 FY23

After four straight days of losses, the ASX 200 has managed to finish Friday in the green.  After opening lower initially this morning the Aussie bourse clawed its way back to positive territory,  up 0.30% by lunchtime.

In the afternoon session,  however, the ASX was on a bit of a seesaw but managed to finish 0.30% higher for the day.

Ten of the 11 ASX sectors were in the green. Leading the gainers was IT sector which increased 1.99%, industrials up 1.51% and real estate which gained 1.21%. The only laggard was materials, down 1.39%.

The Aussie market has tracked the US with Wall Street on its way to a fifth straight day of  falls before all major indexes rallied in afternoon trade to finish positively.

At close the S&P 500 was up by 0.59%, the Dow by 0.36%, and tech heavy Nasdaq by 0.76%.

The UK’s FTSE 100 closed down 0.29%, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.56% higher. In the EU, the DAX rose 0.49% and the Euro Stoxx gained 0.36%.

Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed today. Japan was leading the gainers with the Nikkei up 1.10%, while the Topix put on 0.49% in the afternoon session.

The Heng Seng led the losers down 1.4% in afternoon trade. The CSI 300 fell 1.01%, while in South Korea the Kospi fell 0.28%.

At a confirmation hearing today nominee to lead the Bank of Japan Kazuo Ueda said the central bank may need to consider normalising policy if it reaches its target of stable 2% inflation.

Several ASX large caps were finishing off the week with earnings reports – you’ll find the highlights and lowlights below.

 

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Logistics giant Brambles Group (ASX:BXB) was the big winner today after releasing its H1 FY23 results, including growth in sales revenue of 14% and underlying profit of 25% on a constant currency basis.

For the full-year ended June 30 2023, Brambles now expects revenue growth of between 12-14% and underlying profit growth of between 15-18%.

CEO Graham Chipchase, said the company’s size and scale enabled it to pass on inflationary costs to customers, including an increase in pallet prices by 14%.

“This is an outstanding result for Brambles, with the business delivering strong revenue and profit growth with operating leverage despite the challenging external environment and ongoing inflationary pressures,” he said.

“This performance reinforces the defensive nature of our business and highlights the critical role our pooled solutions play in supply chains today.”

BXB will pay a US 12.25cents/share dividend, up 14% on pcp on April 13.

The group has also announced chief financial officer Nessa O’Sullivan will retire by March 2024.

Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) regained some of its losses from yesterday after its H1 FY23 results disappointed the market with EBITDA for the half falling 26% to $71.6m.

 

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) was lthe biggest loser today after reporting a net loss after tax of $30.1 million in H1 FY23, down $21.4 million from the previous corresponding period.

OBL i is in the niche business of financing and investing in litigation, dispute resolution, and enforcement matters in Australia, the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The company generated $170.2 million in total gross income and revenue.  The company said costs in H1 FY23 were consistent with growth targets with employee expenses increasing 29% compared to pcp with almost $7 million of the $9 million change relating to headcount growth.

OBL said expansion in its productive capacity delivered significant efficiency gains, demonstrated through the 60% improvement in commitment levels to $304.2 million.

The company also confirmed Andrew Saker will retire as managing director and CEO after more than eight years in the role.