COVID-19 - ASX Trading Halts, Transcripts & Updates

Here's an update on what ASX listed companies have been saying in March 2020 regarding coronavirus.There's a series of companies in trading halts relating to COVID-19, an airline that says it is doing well out of the situation, along with some companies capitalising on opportunities presented by the crisis, and a series of companies understandably withdrawing their earnings guidance.

Trading Halts

Neuren Pharmaceuticals (NEU) - March 20, 2020
The trading halt is requested pending an update regarding ongoing clinical trials following the issue of FDA guidance on the conduct of clinical trials of medical products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pacific Star Network (PNW) - March 20, 2020
The reason for the voluntary suspension is to allow PNW to continue to assess, and make an announcement to inform the market about, the effects of the COVID-19 on its business. PNW expects that it will take some time for it to undertake the necessary reviews and assessments and be able to appropriately inform the market and requests the voluntary suspension to last for at least two weeks,

Crown Resorts (CWN) - March 20,  2020
The reason for the request is that Crown is continuing to work with the Victorian Government in relation to the measures in place for Crown in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MGC Pharma (MXC) - March 19, 2020
"... pending the release of an announcement by the Company on a material agreement regarding a strategic joint venture with a Swiss company in relation to COVID-19."


Midway (MWY) CEO Tom Price - conference call, March 20, 2020
"A point to note, given the strong interest in the coronavirus, we've had none of shipments to China at this point affected by the virus. In fact, all of our customers have operated through the Chinese New Year. We've had a number of vessels arrive in China in recent times and at this stage, we're not seeing much impact with the small exception that banks have been a little slow in opening LCs or putting LCs in place but that's just a timing issue that we're working through."

QAN CEO Alan Joyce  - conference call March 19, 2020
"I should say, we'll have plenty of cash to survive at least 6 months and a lot longer than that. We don't know when this is going to end. We are looking at, could this last a year? Could this last 18 months? Could this get worse in terms of capacity to be put down?"

ResApp (RAP) CEO Anthony Keating  - conference call, March 12, 2020
"With the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic now global, we are seeing a sharp increase in the interest in telehealth especially related to respiratory disease as it provides the only way to triage patients at home prior to them visiting a health care facility."

iSignthis Ltd (ISX.AX) Operational Update - March 20, 2020
"March 2020 revenues have slowed appreciably, with processing volumes in key EU merchants having declined in GPTV. We are reviewing the situation in March and likely beyond, with January and February having been (unaudited) EBIT positive. The Australian dollar's decline against the EURO will benefit the Company this quarter."

Domain Holdings (DHG) COVID-19 Update - March 20, 2020
"While trading conditions in March show improving listings volumes, and yield growth driven by our new commercial pricing model, there is uncertainty about the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Australian property market."

Monash IVF Group (MVF) - Withdraws FY20 Earnings Guidance - March 20, 2020
"Fertility Society of Australia has recommended that “at this point there is no evidence to recommend contraception or cessation of attempts to conceive, either unassisted or assisted.” Consequently, the Company is continuing to provide assisted reproductive and womens’ imaging services to its patients. Notwithstanding this, uncertainty of current economic conditions and supply side risk caused by COVID19, is making forecasting full year earnings in the current environment difficult. Accordingly and given the risk attached to Q4FY20 financial performance, MVF therefore advises that it has withdrawn FY20 earnings guidance."

Splitit (SPT) - Response to Investor Enquiries - March 20, 2020
"As per our announcement on 16 March, we do not believe COVID-19 will have a material impact on new merchant acquisition and our ongoing growth plans, despite the impact of any potential travel restrictions or integration delays placed on our expanding network. Our liquidity and balance sheet position remains firmly intact and will allow for implementation of our growth plans, including into 2021.” says Paterson. “Despite an environment of projected slow down in consumer spending, Splitit is well positioned for growth. "

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) - CTM Market Update - March 20, 2020
"While the recent introduction of further government-imposed restrictions on international travel and reduction to domestic capacity have significantly impacted CTM’s business, many of CTM’s clients across all of its regions are continuing to travel, albeit at low levels. Over half of CTM’s global TTV is domestic in nature, representing travel within a country’s borders. When projecting travel activity levels going forward to stress test cashflows, CTM modelled that there will be no international travel around the world and that domestic activity will reduce in line with the current capacity cuts announced by airlines in the jurisdictions in which we operate. The modelling assumed this would continue for a six month period"

Triton Minerals (TON) - ANCUABE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE - March 20, 2020
"Triton is very encouraged having been informed by its various Chinese partners in recent days that their business in China is returning back to more normal levels following the country’s response to COVID-19."

Flexigroup (FXL) - Business Update - March 20, 2020
"The company has accurate and reliable predictive models for the relationship between approval rates and losses which continue to be refined to accommodate the changing economic environment. Any change to losses as a result of COVID-19 is expected to be within risk tolerance parameters."

Alliance Aviation Services (AQZ) - Trading Update - March 20, 2020
"Alliance’s core business has always been supplying charter services to the resource sector where it continues to have long term contracts with prominent mining companies with bases across the country. The level of activity in this sector is increasing in the current environment."

Premier Investments (PMV) - Record 1H20 NPAT OF $99.6m - March 20, 2020
"It is impossible to predict or forecast the nature and impact of COVID-19 on consumption and supply chains in each of the countries we operate. In this environment our high quality management team are focussed, flexible and nimble to respond to all unfolding scenarios. Landlords have a major role to play to ensure retailers can operate in the short term for the long term benefit of all stakeholders. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have closed 2 stores in Hong Kong, and we are prepared to close many more stores globally if landlords do not respond to the current crisis. In Australia and New Zealand close to 70% of stores are already in holdover or with leases expiring in 2020 providing the Group with maximum flexibility."

Cedar Woods Properties (CWP) - Market Update - March 20, 2020
"While Cedar Woods is currently on track to complete the pre-sold developments scheduled for delivery in FY20, the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means the Company is unable to confirm guidance for ‘moderately lower full year earnings in FY20 compared to FY19’ due to matters including potential disruption that could arise from construction workers, local councils and other certifying authorities being unable to attend work. While a significant number of settlements are due in the last quarter of FY20, settlements that don’t complete in FY20 are largely expected to fall into early FY21”

Marley Spoon (MMM) - COVID-19 – Increased Sales and Deliveries - March 20, 2020
"The outbreak of COVID-19 and government countermeasures are causing an unprecedented surge in demand for Marley Spoon’s home delivered meal kits in all our markets."

Sims Metal (SMS) - Market Update - March 20, 2020
"The Company today announced that given the unprecedented world-wide response to slowing the spread of COVID-19, and the magnitude of the impact this will have on economic activity, it is prudent to withdraw its outlook for 2H FY20."

Engenco (EGN) - COVID-19 pandemic update - March 19, 2020
"To date Engenco has not observed any direct material impact upon the level of customer demand. However, while not yet able to be quantified, the forecast slowdown in both global and domestic economic activity over the next few months caused by COVID-19, is expected to have negative repercussions for some sectors in which the Company operates. This is likely to in turn affect trading results."

Wesfarmers (WES) - Wesfarmers trading update and response to COVID-19 - March 20, 2020
"Strong sales growth has continued in Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks, supported by strong growth in online sales. In recent weeks, Bunnings and Officeworks, in particular, have played an important role providing retail and commercial customers with critical products as they respond to and prepare for COVID-19. This has seen significant demand for essential cleaning and hygiene products, home office equipment and technology, and education supplies."

"...  there has in recent days been weakness in sales of discretionary products such as apparel, particularly in Target. This shift in customer behaviour is expected to continue and represents a risk to the outlook for retail sales across the Group as Australian and other governments take action to contain the impact of COVID-19."

Vita Group (VTG) - update on COVID-19 and interim dividend - March 19, 2020
"The robust performance of the group in the first half of the fiscal year continued through to early March 2020, however, as a result of the rapidly evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 and measures implemented to address the spread of the virus in its communities, the group expects to experience a reduction in footfall and revenue over the balance of the financial year."

Afterpay (APT) - Letter to Shareholders - March 19, 2020
"We advise that we have not seen a material impact on our business activity and timing of instalment repayments or transaction losses to date."

McMillan Shakespeare Group (MMS) - Market Update Arising from COVID-19 - March 20, 2020
"... the public health measures that have been recently implemented and a decline in consumer confidence is starting to impact enquiry levels for new novated leases. Given this is expected to adversely impact sales and earnings for the fourth quarter of FY20, the Company believes it is appropriate to withdraw FY20 earnings guidance provided on 19 February 2020."

Bluescope (BSL) - Market Update and Withdrawal of Earnings Guidance - March 19, 2020
"Most recently we have experienced business interruption due to national shutdown in Malaysia, and overnight it was announced that a number of automakers in North America would temporarily cease production. It is not yet clear what impact this will have on North Star’s despatch volumes. Given this unprecedented environment and economic uncertainty, BlueScope believes it is prudent to withdraw its outlook for 2H FY2020"

Nine Entertainment Co (NEC) - Withdrawal of FY20 Profit Guidance - March 19, 2020
"The short term impact remains limited to date, with Nine’s March quarter FTA ad revenues continuing to track close to flat and overall results for the quarter broadly in line with Company expectations. However, the forward ad market is becoming increasingly difficult to reliably predict."

Accent Group (AX1) - COVID-19 Update - March 19, 2020
"The Company has felt the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the unprecedented and uncertain conditions it has created. This has had a significant impact on consumer demand in the market and as such, since the middle of February, like for likes store sales have deteriorated and have been below last year with a significant decline on last year in the first 2 weeks of March."

Hills (HIL) - Market update - March 19, 2020
"... there are signs that Hills Health Solutions customers are understandably reprioritising decision-making to focus on the handling of COVID-19. This has already resulted in some project delivery delays and we also expect this to delay some orders in the second half of FY20. Our Patient Engagement business should be less impacted by COVID-19 and we expect to see continued revenues from this business during this period of uncertainty."

Next DC (NXT) - COVID-19 Update - March 19, 2020
"To date, there has been no noticeable change to NEXTDC’s sales pipeline as a result of COVID-19. Whilst increasing travel restrictions will lead to new ways of selling and installing, underlying demand for NEXTDC’s premium data centre services is expected to remain robust."

Vicinity Centres (VCX) - withdraws FY20 earnings and distribution guidance - March 19, 2020
"Since announcing our interim results in mid-February, we have seen a further deterioration in the retail trading and operating environment, with increasing uncertainty around the impacts of COVID-19."

Adairs (ADH) - Update on COVID-19 impact - March 19, 2020
"Notwithstanding the hard work and strong execution of Adairs to continue to perform well over the year to date period, the outlook for sales for Q4 has now changed materially. The level and nature of the uncertainty in relation to medium-term trading conditions is unprecedented."

Codan (CDA) - Malaysian Government to suspend all non-essential services - March 19, 2020
" a result of the global spread of Coronvarius (COVID-19), the Malaysian Government has announced the suspension of all non-essential services from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020. This will impact our Malaysian-based outsourced contract manufacturers. We do not expect this two-week closure to impact on our ability to supply our customers over this period. Consistent with the first half, the Codan group has continued to see strong sales through to March 2020."

Boral (BLD) - Boral withdraws FY2020 earnings guidance due to COVID-19 - March 19, 2020
"While we have not yet seen a significant deterioration in demand for our products as a result of direct and indirect COVID-19 impacts, other than in our USG Boral China business, we are now starting to see signs of impacts in our other markets. We expect market conditions will worsen as a result of temporary lockdowns and restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus. However, given the high level of uncertainty regarding the spread and duration of COVID-19, the negative impact on FY2020 earnings cannot be estimated at this point."

Reef Hotel Casino (RCT) - Annual Report - March 18, 2020
"Coronavirus - the COVID 19 impact is uncertain; already the travel ban for visitors from China into Cairns and Australia has impacted trading so far this year."

Flight Centre (FLT) - Accelerates Review - March 18, 2020
"In light of unprecedented challenges facing the travel industry, the Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has accelerated its urgent business review to identify further cost and cash saving initiatives."

“The conditions that our industry is facing are unprecedented and have clearly arisen as a result of the coronavirus and the initiatives that are being implemented to slow its spread."

Sigma Healthcare (SIG) - Market Update - March 18, 2020
"We are dealing with a significant increase in volume as community pharmacy and their customers react. This is putting considerable strain on the supply chain. We are working closely with suppliers, pharmacy, government and agencies to help ensure that medicines can be fairly distributed in accordance with government medicines policy."

MedAdvisor (MDR) - Shareholder Update - March 17, 2020
"MedAdvisor has launched functionality so patients can now pay and request delivery from many pharmacies, removing the need to leave their home. We will be actively working with pharmacies over the coming weeks to activate this functionality. In addition, MedAdvisor has previously announced a partnership with Kings (ASX: 1/11/2019) to allow pharmacies to provide additional capacity to deliver to consumers on the same day as the item is ordered. This functionality is anticipated to go live early April in certain target areas before a national rollout."

Medlab Clinical (MDC) - Prepared with COVID-19 Readiness Plans including Telehealth initiatives - March 18, 2020
"Medlab launches a unique first, online clinical service, offering advice and connecting the Australian public to doctors, specialists, naturopaths and pharmacists."

“Considering the current global events, this service is timely, whilst these practitioners are not here to diagnosis or treat COVID-19 they are well placed to offer free advice of hygiene, health and more important, simple things people can do to strengthen their immunity."

Bubs Australia (BUB) - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 18, 2020
"The Company has put in place measures to sustain continued security of its supply chain across Bubs√ĘGoat Milk formula and Bubs Organic Cow Milk formula to meet increased demand from parents anxious to secure supplies of infant milk formula, as well as building inventory to ensure steady future supply to quickly respond to further demand surges."

Oventus (OVN) - Strategic Response to COVID-19 - March 18, 2020
"Over the past 48 hours, a number of U.S. state regulatory bodies have recommended or mandated that only emergency dental services be provided in the short term."

"While the current macro situation is expected to lead to a near-term slow down on revenue growth, many of our customers see that the Lab in Lab model can help them recover lost Page 1of 3
revenues from any U.S. state government-recommended pauses in trading. "

Collins Foods (CKF) - COVID-19 Update - March 18, 2020
"To support efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus in the community, both Collins Foods and KFC are now taking the pro-active step of closing their in-restaurant dining areas in Australia. Collins Foods’ KFC restaurants will immediately shift their focus to take-away, drive-thru, and delivery. These three channels account for approximately 80% of sales."

Carbon Revolution (CBR) - Successful completion of $25m placement - March 18, 2020
" The placement was undertaken to position the company as strongly as possible to deal with the impacts on the business associated with the COVID-19 virus outbreak."

"Global automotive supply chains and OEM production activities are now being directly impacted by the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Most recently one of Carbon Revolution’skey customers, Ferrari, has announced that it will cease producing vehicles for a two-week period until 27 March 2020."

Aeris Environmental (AEI) - Aeris Active is effective against Corina Virus - March 18, 2020
"... the Company has been notified by Eurofins AMS Laboratories, a provider of world-class analytical and consulting services in microbiology, that Aeris Active has achieved over 4log kill (99.99%) after just 60 second contact time (which provides rapid deactivation of this virus) against Murine hepatitis virus ATCC® VR-261™, a member of the Coronavirus family that has been used as a surrogate for Coronavirus in published disinfectant studies."

:The Company is experiencing unprecedented demand from multiple local and global customers, distributors and governments, and across several industrial, commercial, food service and consumer markets. This demand covers several of Aeris’ proprietary products, including hard surface disinfectants with residual properties, skin sanitisers, air-conditioning protection, and a range of environmental hygiene cleaners and treatments."

Zoono Group (ZNO) - Substantial sales revenues growth - March 17, 2020
"... in response to the unprecedented level of interest in the Company and its products, the Company is delighted to advise that revenues (unaudited) to date in the current quarter (11 weeks only) are NZ$11.0 million (which compares extremely favourably to revenues of NZ$1.715M for the entire first half of FY20)."

Ramsay Healthcare (RHC) - Withdraws FY'20 Guidance - March 18, 2020
"... given the ongoing high level of uncertainty surrounding the spread, duration and impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), and as its hospitals around the globe move to assist governments with managing the virus, it is withdrawing earnings guidance for FY’20."

"The rapid spread of COVID-19 in Europe has resulted in decisions to defer surgery in some regions as governments seek extraordinary support from private operators such as Ramsay to deal with capacity requirements."

"... in Australia, it was too early to determine the full impact of COVID-19."

Speedcast Internastional (SDA) - Business Update - March 18, 2020
"Coronavirus has had a substantial impact on the Cruise industry over the past few weeks, which is anticipated to continue for the near term. With Cruise being a key market segment for Speedcast, this downturn has negatively affected the Company's earnings outlook for the current financial year. As a consequence, Speedcast is not yet able to provide a reliable outlook for the performance of the business in FY20."

Monadelphous (MND) - COVID-19 Impact on 2019/2020 - March 18, 2020
"... the Company reported that it was forecasting around 10 per cent revenue growth for the 2019/2020 financial year, but that the financial performance of the business was dependent on the extent and duration of project and supply chain delays resulting from the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Since the release of the revenue guidance to the market, there has been a significant escalation of measures taken by both governments across the world, as well as our customers, to prevent further spread of the virus."

"These measures have precipitated a slowdown in economic activity, and as a consequence the Company advises that it has withdrawn its previously published guidance."

Mirvac (MGR) - FY20 Earnings & Distribution Guidance Withdrawal - March 18, 2020
"As the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak impact Australia and our business, we are taking swift and prudent measures across the business, to notonly protect our employees and stakeholders, but also provide transparency in what is an ever-changingenvironment."

Tamawood (TWD) - Update on COVID-19 - March 17, 2020
"The appointment levels for the last 30 days continue to exceed the same comparative FY19 period (up approximately 60%) and we have only witnessed a marginal reduction since the recent increase in the number of cases of COVID-19."

Elmo Software (ELO) - March 2020 Business update - March 18, 2020
"As a result of the disruption to the everyday operations of Australian and New Zealand (“ANZ”) businesses by the COVID-19 outbreak, we are anticipating the deferral of purchasing decisions by prospective and existing ELMO customers."

LawFinance (LAW) - Market Update - March 17, 2020
"... it is anticipated that a rapid and severe economic downturn due to the Coronavirus will likely engender a slowdown in cash collections, as counterparties try to retain cash."

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCL) - COVID-19 Update - March 17, 2020
" In Australia and New Zealand we are seeing strong growth in the Grocery Channel as consumers stock up. In Australia the growth in Grocery has been offset by declines in On-The-Go (OTG) channels which have been soft, following the bushfires in January. We would expect OTG weakness to accelerate given consumers’ likely preference for staying at home as well as the widespread cancellation of major sporting, entertainment and cultural events. In Indonesia we are seeing a reduction in foot traffic as people stay home with Bali volumes impacted by the severe decline in tourism."

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