Reporting Season Round Up: Baby Bunting notches up 75pc profit jump, but shares fall
Today it was just maternity and baby goods retailer Baby Bunting (ASX:BBN) releasing its annual results.
It made $468.4 million in sales, up 15.6% from FY21 and a statutory net profit after tax of $17.5 million, up 76% from FY21.
The company made it without receiving JobKeeper or rent relief and is paying a final dividend of 8.3 cents taking the full year to 14.1 cents – up 34%.
“We have had a tremendous year delivering great growth, both in earnings per share and returns for shareholders,” said CEO Matt Spencer.
“Our brand has gone from strength to strength and is now the most recognisable brand in this category and this is converting into stronger brand preference and engagement.
“As we expand our network of stores and our range and services, we expect our growth to continue.”
The company noted while lockdowns cause some sales moderation, the maternity and baby goods category isn’t a space where purchases can be put off indefinitely and with 6,000 births on average per week in Australia, it is no small market.
While some purchases require browsing, the company grew its online sales (including click and collect sales) by over 54% to $90.8 million making up nearly a fifth of total sales.
Nevertheless, the company opened four new stores taking its total stores to 60 and it is planning to have more than 100 eventually.
Baby Bunting shares actually dropped after today’s results but are up 50% in 18 months.
As Australia’ COVID-19 vaccination pace picks up and NSW looks at re-opening, debate has been sparked about if companies will make it mandatory to get the jab and either way what it would do to help or encourage its employees to be vaccinated.
The cat amongst the pigeons was when SPC came out and said it would be mandatory.
Baby Bunting was one of the first ASX stocks to make its position known.
“We want every team member who can be vaccinated, to be vaccinated,” Spencer said.
The company would be providing paid leave to attend vaccination appointments and would be running a competition among its staff to encourage vaccination with winners sharing in a $10,000 prize pool.
“We all need to play our part to help Australia move to a COVID-normal setting,” Spencer said.