ASX 200 rises, Flight Centre drops, Super Retail grows

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX:XJO) was up 0.6% to 7,068 points. That included the Flight Centre Travel (ASX: FLT) share price falling over 4%.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) went up by 0.6% to 7,068 points.

Here are some of the highlights from the ASX today:

Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT)

The Flight Centre share price fell 4.6% after giving a trading update to investors.

Flight Centre said that it has seen record sales revenue in March after a more subdued January and February. There has been a significant uplift globally at the end of FY21’s third quarter.

March was comfortably higher than the previous COVID-19 record.

The turnover was up more than $100 million higher than February. That’s an increase of 32.7% month on month. It takes gross quarterly total transaction value back above $1 billion for the first time after the onset of COVID.

Flight Centre is currently expecting further growth in April. The recovery continues despite heavy restrictions in key markets.

The Australian corporate and leisure businesses and US leisure business are contributing strongly to the recent improvement.

Flight Centre said that the ending of jobkeeper means it has lost the $5 million to $7 million subsidy per month in Australia during the fourth quarter. It expects to recoup this if state borders stay open.

The ASX 200 business is continuing to target a return in profit before tax during FY22 on a month to month basis in both corporate and leisure.

It’s currently expecting FY21 second half losses to be broadly in line with the first half.

Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL)

The Super Retail share price went up 0.7% today in reaction to the trading update.

Super Retail has continued to see strong growth. It gave a trading update for the first 44 weeks of FY21.

Supercheap Auto sales were up 21%, Rebel sales were up 20%, BCF sales were up 59%, Macpac sales were up 17%. Overall sales went up by 28%.

Anthony Heraghty, the CEO of Super Retail, said:

Given the continued strength of customer demand, the group has maintained relatively subdued levels of promotional activity in the second half. As a result, the gross margin improvement which the group delivered in the first half has been maintained in the second half.

The group is in a well-stocked inventory position, which has benefited from the arrival of orders made in the first half. Higher shipping costs in the second half have impacted inventory costs but these have been partly offset by favourable currency movements.

As previously advised, second half operating expenses will reflect catch-up up projects deferred during COVID-19 and increased re-investment in the business.

SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK)

The SEEK share price went up around 2% after giving an update.

The employment business said that it announced that all conditions had been completed for the Zhaopin transaction. This will reduce the Zhaopin stake from 61.1% to 23.5%. Around $500 million of the total anticipated gross proceeds (almost $700 million) were received in April 2021.

SEEK said that it intends to pay a dividend of 20 cents per share. It’s now operating well within its pre-existing borrower group covenant limits including payment of the dividend.

Based on the transaction value, the ASX 200 share’s 23.5% ownership of Zhaopin is valued at $515 million.

SEEK has changed its FY21 guidance, excluding significant items. Revenue will be in the order of almost $1.6 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) will be in the order of $480 million. Seek’s share of net profit losses for its early stage ventures (ESV) will be in the order of $50 million.

The reported net profit is expected to be in the order of $140 million.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Super Retail Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited and SEEK 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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