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Rob Scott says the group is taking measures to reduce the impacts of COVID-19. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Wesfarmers unable to quantify impact

Wesfarmers has disclosed that nearly every part of its business has been affected by COVID-19, with Bunnings and Officeworks doing better while Target is suffering.

In a detailed update released today, the retailer said it expected weak discretionary spending to continue, particularly on apparel, as panic buyers loaded up on essential cleaning and hygiene products.

Wesfarmers flagged a spike in online sales in recent weeks at its Bunnings and Officeworks stores, saying customers were also purchasing home office equipment, technology and education supplies.

The group said its industrial and safety businesses were also experiencing strong demand for essential protective clothing.

Wesfarmers said it expected this changed behaviour to continue, posing a risk on the outlook of sales across the group, but was unable to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on its full-year results.

It has, however, flagged extra operating costs for measures taken in response to the virus.

Managing director Rob Scott said Wesfarmers had implemented a series of health and safety measures, including restricted travel and meetings.

“These measures also include actions to protect the safety of our customers; with more intensive cleaning of stores and an increased focus on cashless transactions,” he said.

Wesfarmers recently extended paid leave to casual workers for shifts missed during periods of self-isolation.

The group said it maintained a robust balance sheet that was strengthened by the sale of its 4.9 per cent interest in Coles last month for around $1.1 billion.

Its shares were up 1.3 per cent to $35.34 at 12:55pm AEDT.

Wesfarmers (WES)

Share Price

Closing price for the last 90 trading days
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BN30 Index

Index = 100 as of 4 Jan 2016
Source: Morningstar

Top 10 Shareholders

Substantial shareholders as published in the annual report.
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Total Shareholder Return as at 28/02/20

1 year TSR5 year TSR
104thAustal60%20%
179thWesfarmers27%11%
384thSeven Group Holdings-7%25%
481stPerenti Global-20%32%
788thSeven West Media-70%-32%
671 WA (and selected non WA) listed companies ranked by 1 year TSR relative to other companies with similar revenue
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Share Transactions

31/03/20
$833 Issued
16/03/20
$18k Bought
12/03/20
$51k Bought
Total value as at the date of the transaction
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Revenue

1st-Wesfarmers$28,133.0m
2nd↑Seven Group Holdings$4,166.4m
3rd↑Austal$1,868.7m
4th↑Perenti Global$1,846.5m
5th↓Seven West Media$1,556.4m
198 listed industrial companies ranked by revenue.
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