The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted ASX shares in a number of different ways. While most Aussie shares were smashed in the March 2020 bear market, the subsequent 12 to 18 months have made for interesting viewing.
Almost every company has had to adapt to changing circumstances. Border restrictions, reduced venue capacity and changing demand for products and services have forced a rethink across the board.
Here are 3 ASX shares that have been surging higher in 2021 on the back of changing Aussie lifestyle trends.
Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT)
It may come as no surprise that Afterpay shares have performed strongly in recent months. Shares in the buy now, pay later (BNPL) leader have climbed more than 10% in 2021 and are up nearly 80% in the last 12 months.
The share price surge has been driven by a number of factors including Afterpay’s proposed takeover by Square Inc (NYSE: SQ). However, Afterpay’s underlying sales figures have also been very strong, driven by a continued consumer shift towards digital retail.
Afterpay’s customers have been spending big with the company’s merchant partners. That has driven a 90% increase in FY21 underlying sales to $21.1 billion and pushed the ASX share higher.
Investors will be hoping that the online shopping trend continues long after COVID-19 restrictions have ended.
ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB)
ARB designs, manufactures, distributes and sells motor vehicle accessories and other light engineering products. That means the ASX share has a significant presence in the Aussie motor vehicle accessories market.
Many investors would be aware of how hot the Aussie vehicle market is right now. COVID-19 restrictions have reduced supply while many Aussies have extra disposable income due to restrictions on movement where they would otherwise spend their money, such as travel.
ARB reported a 34% increase in FY21 sales to $623.1 million with earnings per share surging 95% to 140 cents per share. That’s a fairly good indication of demand-driven gains with ARB a beneficiary of this recent Aussie lifestyle change.
James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX)
James Hardie is an Irish-headquarter, dual Australian and US-listed cement manufacturing company. It might surprise some to see this multinational group on the list of those benefitting from Aussie lifestyle changes.
However, there has been one enormous lifestyle shift in the past 12 to 18 months — home building. Cashed up Aussies are turning to home renovations and new builds to capitalise on more disposable income as well as government stimulus schemes such as HomeBuilder.
That has been good news for this ASX share which is up more than 35% year to date.
These are just a few ASX shares benefitting from Aussie lifestyle changes in recent months.
Investors in these listed companies have seen strong investment gains in 2021 thanks to sustained demand propelling earnings and growth higher.