The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose by 0.4% today to 6,770 points.
Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:
BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP)
The BHP share price went up around 1% today in reaction to the resource company’s FY21 half-year operational update.
For the six months to December 2020, compared to December 2019, petroleum production was down 12%, copper production was down 5%, iron ore production was up 6%, metallurgical coal production was down 5%, energy coal production was down 30% and nickel production was up 31%.
BHP said that it achieved record production at its Western Australian iron ore division, with record average concentrator throughput at Escondida.
Strong underlying operational performance in copper by the ASX 200 share offset the impacts of planned maintenance and natural field declines, copper grade decline and adverse weather.
BHP reported that its major projects under development are progressing to plan. The Spence growth option achieved first production in December 2020. The Jansen stage 1 project remains on track for the final investment decision in the middle of the 2021 calendar year. South Flank is “tracking well” and is on schedule for the first production in the middle of the 2021 calendar year.
Iron ore production guidance has been increased to between 245 Mt to 255 mt as a result of the restart of Samarco in December 2020. Copper guidance has been narrowed to between 1,510 kt and 1,645 kt, which reflects the strong performance at Escondida.
Full year unit cost guidance remains unchanged for the 2021 financial year.
The FY21 half-year result is expected to include an impairment charge of between US$1.15 billion and US$1.25 billion after tax relating to New South Wales Energy Coal (NSWEC).
Polynovo Ltd (ASX: PNV)
The Polynovo share price went up 7.25% in response to two announcements. It was the top performing ASX 200 share.
Polynovo has made agreements with distributors to enter both Poland and Turkey.
In Turkey it has appointed Incomed Saglik Hiz and its medical sales channel LotuS as distributor. Polynovo said this expansion in the EMEA region is a significant step in bringing NovoSorb BTM to a significant number of surgeons and patients in the region.
LotuS has been supplying medical devices to the Turkish market since 2006, with a concentration on wound and burn treatments. It has a large salesforce comprised of direct sales, dealers and sub-dealers covering the whole of the Turkish region.
Polynovo believes Turkey represents good medium-term opportunities. The managing director of Polynovo, Paul Brennan, said: “We are excited by our partnership with LotuS and our entry into Turkey. The country is an important geographical and commercial link in our EMEA strategy. We will now be able to service surgeons who work across EMEA and expand the inter-surgeon referral of the benefits of NovoSorb BTM.”
In Poland, the ASX 200 share has chosen Hortho Medical Innovations as its exclusive distributor. Hortho works closely with opinion leaders in plastic/reconstructive surgery. Hortho has a direct team servicing all of Poland and plans to add dedicated personnel to support their NovoSorb BTM sales and marketing.
Hortho specialises in distributing surgical devices and has a large network of surgeons.
Mr Brennan said: “Poland is an exciting growth market in Europe and we see this as an important step in expanding our sales in Europe.”
Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD)
The Sydney Airport share price fell over 1% after giving a passenger update.
The airport ASX 200 share said that total passengers were down 82.2% in December 2020 to 703,000. International passengers were down 97.3% to 44,000 and domestic passengers were down 71.9% to 659,000.
Sydney Airport expects that the downturn in international passenger traffic is expect to persist until government travel restrictions are eased.