The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) fell by 0.2% today to 6,398 points.
Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:
Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC)
Private hospital operator Ramsay gave an update to investors today.
The update related to the first quarter of FY21. Ramsay wanted to give investors an update in advance of its AGM on 24 November 2020.
Ramsay said that its Australian division had reported a 1.5% increase in total revenue. Excluding Victoria, total Australian revenue was up 6.6%. This reflected a 1.7% increase in surgical admissions (excluding Victoria there was growth of 8%) and lower non-surgical activity.
Ramsay reported that its Australian earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and restructuring or rent costs (EBITDAR) declined compared to the prior corresponding period because of the impact of restrictions on activity in Victoria during the second lockdown, and the increase in costs and impact on the case mix as a result of the COVID-19 environment.
Ramsay Sante reported an increase in surgical volumes of approximately 5.4% on the prior corresponding period, combined with lower non-surgical activity.
Meanwhile, Ramsay UK reported a total revenue decline of 9.9%, in local currency terms, compared to the prior corresponding period with volumes picking up near the end of the quarter.
Both the UK and France continue to operate under the government support arrangements which currently both run until 31 December 2020.
The ASX 200 hospital company said that given near-term uncertainties in the market stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ramsay is not in a position to provide guidance for FY21.
Ramsay managing director and CEO Craig McNally said: “Ramsay’s operating results continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of FY21. Surgical restrictions, regional outbreaks and lower demand for some services, combined with higher costs associated with operating in the current environment have all impacted results.
“There were a number of operational lessons learned in the first wave of the virus that our hospitals have been implementing to better manage safety and capacity and where appropriate this has allowed us to continue treating private patients and public wait lists where requested.”
The Ramsay share price fell by 1.6% today. Ramsay will release its FY21 interim result on 25 February 2021.
Lovisa Holdings Ltd (ASX: LOV)
The jewellery store business announced a European acquisition today.
It announced that it would be acquiring the European retail store network of German wholesaler ‘beeline GmbH’, which is expected to add more than 80 stores to the Lovisa global store network across six European countries – Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Luxembourg with all continuing stores to be branded to trade as Lovisa stores.
The shares in the six beeline entities will be acquired for a total purchase price of sixty Euros, with beeline GmbH ensuring a cash level of the entities of €9.87 million in total. No financial debt will be taken on as a result of this transaction.
Lovisa has also entered into a put option agreement in relation to the acquisition of beeline France, including a store network of 30 stores.
The acquisition of each country’s operations is to be completed progressively from 1 March 2021 through to the end of May 2021. The combined cash requirement for fitout and inventory for the conversion of stores to Lovisa is expected to be less than €5 million.
Lovisa managing director Shane Fallscheer said: “We are very excited that this transaction gives us the opportunity to add six new countries to our global store network, and provides us with a strong base and quality team to grow the Lovisa brand further in these markets into the future as part of our ongoing global strategy.
It couldn’t provide earnings guidance for the acquisition due to COVID-19 impacts.
In terms of a trading update, 24 stores in France and 39 stores are shut because of lockdowns. For the remaining stores, comparable store sales for the first 19 weeks of FY21 were down 9.2%. Australia and New Zealand have been the best performing regions.
The Lovisa share price went up 14.5% today.