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These were the best performing ASX 200 shares in March

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again in March and recorded a solid 1.8% gain to finish at 6,790.7 points.

While a good number of shares pushed higher with the market, some climbed more than most. Here’s why these were the best ASX 200 performers in March:

GrainCorp Ltd (ASX: GNC)

The GrainCorp share price was the best performer on the ASX 200 in March with a 24.5% gain. This strong gain was driven by the grain exporter announcing new operating initiatives. The include expanding its bulk materials for export, increasing utilisation at the Numurkah and West Footscray processing facilities, and shifting its foods product mix to higher-value products. Management expects the initiatives to boost its operating earnings by $25 million by 2023-24.

Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) 

The Premier Investments share price wasn’t far behind with a 23.3% gain in March. The catalyst for this was the release of a very strong half year result. For the first half of FY 2021, the retail conglomerate reported a 7.2% increase in global sales to $784.6 million and an 88.9% jump in net profit to $188.2 million. A key driver of its growth was the Peter Alexander business, which reported record sales of $207.7 million. This was supported by a jump in online sales and rental and wage subsidies, underpinning a material expansion in its margins.

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

The Crown share price was on form last month and jumped 18.2%. Investors were scrambling to buy the casino and resorts operator’s shares after it received a takeover approach from Blackstone. The US investment company made an unsolicited, non-binding, and indicative proposal to acquire all of the shares in Crown at $11.85 cash per share. This was a 20.1% premium to its last close price at the time. The Crown board is still assessing the proposal, which was received on 22 March.

Polynovo Ltd (ASX: PNV)

The Polynovo share price was back on form and raced 12.5% higher in March. There appear to have been a few catalysts for this strong gain. One was bargain hunters swooping in after a sizeable year to date decline. In fact, despite this gain, the PolyNovo share price is still down 30% in 2021. In addition to this, a positive broker note out of Ord Minnett and an agreement with major US group purchasing organisation, Premier Inc, supported its shares. 

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of POLYNOVO FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Premier Investments Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Crown Resorts Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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