Best & Less (ASX:BST) told its ASX shareholders this morning that lockdowns had hit the company, but it was hopeful of a strong Christmas period.

The stock listed back in July after a five and a half decade life as a private company, and its shares are still well up from the $2.16 price it listed at.

But today Best and Less’ trading update sent BST shares slightly lower, after the company told investors it did not expect to meet its prospectus forecasts for the first half of FY22.

Best & Less (ASX:BST) share price chart


Best and Less hopeful for a strong Christmas

Best and Less lost a cumulative total of 9,272 trading days due to the closure of retail stores — particularly in Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand, the company said.

It did report strong online sales, which were up 34.9% from FY21 and 147.2% from the same period in FY20.

In addition, its active loyalty club membership base rose to 1.8 million.

Across the year, like for like sales were down 1.3% on FY21 but up 13.8% on FY20. Although stores had reopened, the company said that customer shopping behaviour had continued to be cautious.

Despite this downside, BST said it expected to achieve its prospectus forecasts for the entire calendar year of 2021 and remained committed to its dividend policy.

It also said it had a healthy stock position heading into the peak trading period  which typically begins on Black Friday which falls next week.

The boom times go on for Resimac

Meanwhile Resimac (ASX:RMC), one of the few non-bank home loan providers that is ASX listed, used its AGM today to update shareholders and there were no signs of the lending boom slowing down.

It tipped another record for home loan settlements to be reached in the first four months of FY22 – $2.5 billion which was up 72% on the prior corresponding period.

Resimac is tipping ~$3.3 billion for the entire first half of FY22, and expects its normalised post-tax profit to be in line or higher than the prior corresponding period

Nonetheless the company did warn there might be turbulent times in the first half of next year with the federal election and supply chain issues tipped to escalate.

But chairman Warren McLeland said things would bounce back from the second half of the 2022 calendar year.

“We expect the Australian economy in the period to 2026 will be characterised by relatively low levels of unemployment, low levels of interest rates and only moderately higher annual inflation — and at least a return to the higher rates of GDP growth we experienced pre COVID,” he said.

“Such conditions represent a positive outlook for a continuance of growth opportunities for Resimac Group, notwithstanding a constant feature of intense industry competition and a continual squeeze on margins.”