The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) is expected to trade higher today with the Sydney Futures Exchange pointing to a slightly positive open. Right now, the ASX 200 is priced 0.16% from its 52-week high of 7125.1.
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Today’s Australian sharemarket news
1. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises is the largest pizza chain in Australia in terms of both network store numbers and network sales. It is also the largest franchisee for the Domino’s Pizza brand in the world. The company holds the exclusive master franchise rights for the Domino’s brand and network in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan, Germany and Luxembourg with more than 2,500 stores.
The fast-food chain owner today released its 2020 half-year financial results showing a 29% increase in revenue and a profit of $69 million, up 30%. Domino’s will also pay an interim dividend of 66.7 cents per share, fully franked.
Speaking over the results, Domino’s CEO Don Meij took the opportunity to reflect on the growth of the chain in the past decade.
“We closed the last decade with more than 780 stores and $700m in total network sales,” Meij said. “We ended this decade with almost 2,600 stores, $3b in sales this year, and confidence the strategy that has delivered this performance will allow us to more than double our store count and network sales in the next decade.”
Looking towards the second half of its 2020 financial year Domino’s has already opened 11 stores and achieved same-store sales growth of 6.3%. The Domino’s ASX release noted, “The Company intends to build out the opportunity available in its existing markets, which have a population greater than the United States, and a GDP greater than China.”
2. Orica Ltd
Orica is one of the world’s largest providers of commercial explosives and blasting systems. It supplies its products to various industries including mining, quarrying and oil & gas. It is also a large supplier of sodium cyanide for gold extraction and it provides ground support for mining and tunneling. It has been operating since 1874, operates in over 100 countries and has around 11,500 employees.
Today, Orica announced it will acquire Peru’s leading manufacturer and distributor of industrial explosives, Exsa. Orica says the deal will give it a leading position in the Latin American Market, a market expected to grow at 4% annually until 2025.
Orica will pay a price of $US203 million ($302 million), which represents a valuation multiple of EBITDA of 14x.
To get the money and make the acquisition Orica shares have entered a trading halt as they prepare to sell an additional $500 million of shares to institutions and raise $100 million from smaller — but loyal — investors.
“We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Exsa, which will immediately establish Orica as the number one player in Peru, Latin America’s highest growth market, and transform Orica’s entire Initiating Systems footprint,” CEO Alberto Calderon said.
3. Sonic Healthcare Limited
Sonic Healthcare is one of Australia’s largest healthcare businesses, it provides laboratory services, pathology, and radiology services. It is actually the world’s third-largest pathology/laboratory medicine company. It has operations in Australia, the USA, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand.
Before the ASX’s open today, the medical company announced its 2020 half-year revenue and profit result showing growth of 15% and 14%, respectively, versus the same period last year.
The company maintained its policy of paying dividends in-line with profit results, notching up the half-year dividend by 1 cent (3%) from 33 cents per share to 34 cents per share.
Commenting on the growth drivers for the business, Sonic CEO Colin Goldschmidt, said: “Sonic Healthcare has reported record results for the half year, enhanced by the impacts of the Aurora Diagnostics acquisition completed in January 2019. The Aurora business has performed well since acquisition, in line with our expectations, and cost and revenue synergies are in train.”
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