Australian retail sales figures assist Consumer Discretionaries
- Retail sales will contribute around 1.4 per cent to GDP in the September quarter
- November saw a 13.3 per cent rise in total retail turnover compared to the same period in 2019
- Accent Group, Bapcor, ARB and Nick Scali have all benefitted during the quarter
2020 posed significant challenges for Australian consumers but recent retail sales figures displayed that Australians in the last quarter of the year showed extreme confidence in their domestic economy. On Monday the 11th of January 2021, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released their quarterly figures which showed that retail sales would contribute around 1.4 per cent to GDP in the September quarter. This is the largest quarterly percentage gain since 1983 when these were first published.
In particular, the month of November saw a 13.3 per cent rise in total retail turnover compared to the same period in 2019. 11 per cent of this turnover was made up of Online sales, which have been an important factor during over the last 12 months. Cyber Monday and Black Friday, as well as early Christmas shopping, elevated both the November and Online Figures.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Retailers Association Paul Zahra commented Paul Zahra, “November was an incredible month, with $31.7 billion worth of retail trade across the country – and that’s provided a much-needed shot in the arm for Australian retailers after what was a very challenging year.”
The strong rebound in retail sales was seen across all states and territories in Australia, except Victoria due to their harsh and extended lockdowns over the period. Despite this, the month of November saw a massive 22.4 per cent jump in retail turnover excluding pubs, clubs and travel in Victoria. Victoria’s exit from lockdowns in November also assisted sales volumes leading up to Christmas as pent-up demand was let flow into the domestic economy.
Businesses in the consumer discretionary space benefited off the back of this consumer spending, ending 2020 on a positive note. Accent Group (ASX: AX1) also provided a trading update on Thursday the 7th of January for the first of FY21 which saw Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) to grow by 40-45 per cent against the previous corresponding period (pcp). Accent group expects EBITDA growth for the full year FY21 to be in line with the first half.
ARB Corporation (ASX: ARB) which recorded a 21.6 per cent growth in sales revenue compared to the pcp. The market update also recorded profits before tax in the range of $70-$72 million, which will be confirmed in ARB’s half-year results released on the 31st of December 2020. Likewise, a Bapcor (ASX: BAP) trading update indicated that group revenues had risen 25 per cent in the first half of FY21. They also expect Net profits after tax to increase by at least 50 per cent against the pcp.
Finally, Nick Scali (ASX: NCK) had a great start to 2021 after providing guidance that net profits after tax are expected to increase 100 per cent to $40.5 million. The company’s share rose by almost 13 per cent in the following two days.
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