Covid-cautious consumers and the devastating flooding in NSW and Queensland tempered the trading results of Endeavour Group in its third quarter, to April 3.
Sales of $2.728 billion across the company’s retail and hotel business divisions were down by 2.1 per cent year on year, but after adjustment to reflect the impact of Easter’s timing on figures, trading was almost even, down by just 0.3 per cent. Retail division sales were down 3 per cent to $2.323 billion, with the hotel division turning over $405 million, up 3.8 per cent.
Group MD and CEO Steve Donohue, said the business traded well given the impact of weather and Covid-19.
“Hotels trading improved as Covid-19-related restrictions eased, and retail sales were slightly lower than the equivalent period last year,” he said.
Consumer hesitancy about gathering in public led to a reduction in on-premise patronage while isolation rules for people with Covid, or potentially exposed to positive cases, created staffing challenges in both business divisions.
Endeavour Group estimates the severe flooding cost it around $9 million in damages and even now several impacted premises have yet to resume trading.
“The flood events caused extensive damage to a small number of our stores and hotels in the quarter. Our Dan Murphy’s Lismore store was submerged in the flooding in the first week of March. In addition, 10 of our BWS stores as well as the Breakfast Creek Hotel (Brisbane) and Westower Tavern (Ballina) were significantly impacted.”
The company is continuing to work with its insurers over compensation for clean up costs and asset write-offs, as well as an estimate of lost profits when stores and hotels were not able to operate.
Meanwhile, team members from multiple sites have been personally impacted by the severe flooding. “We are offering them additional support including financial assistance for property damage, providing vouchers for food and offering accommodation for displaced team members and their families at our hotels,” said Donohue.
The company and its customers have raised more than $800,000 to help communities impacted by the floods via charities including donation platform Givit.org.au and Red Cross.
During the quarter, one new Dan Murphy’s store opened taking that network to 258, while five BWS stores opened and four closed leaving 1411 at the quarter’s end.