22 November 2023
Despite a difficult year fraught with new challenges, many Australia’s listed companies are emerging from the reporting season in good health, according to Alex Waislitz.
Despite a difficult year fraught with new challenges, many of Australia’s listed companies are emerging from the reporting season in good health, according to Alex Waislitz.
Speaking at Reach Markets’ fortnightly The Insider: Meet the Fund Manager webcast last Friday, the billionaire founder of Thorney Investment Group said most companies have had a “great response” to the unique challenges of the 2021 financial year.
“They’ve had to adapt to communicating remotely through digital devices and zooms, and I think people have adapted to that very well,” he said.
“In fact, companies have streamlined a lot of their costs. Obviously JobKeeper has helped a lot of companies to sustain their results and use those funds to adapt to the situation.”
Mr Wasilitz noted that many businesses have continued to raise capital over the past 12 months, especially within the technology, resources, and infrastructure sectors.
This has been helped along by government spending programs at both state and federal levels, which Mr Waislitz said will pour billions of dollars into these sectors, helping them through this difficult period.
“Overall I think the company results have been surprisingly good, I think companies have adapted for the most part quite well,” he said.
“Obviously some sectors have been hit harder than others in relation to the impact of COVID, such as the hospitality industry, tourism industry, certainly internationally. Other sectors have taken advantage of it, companies like Zoom or in Australia’s case Dubber.
“In the communications space there’s been tremendous growth in the need for internet capacity and online communication bandwidth as people are working remotely and adjusting.”
Don’t discount the health costs
Although corporate Australia’s swift responses to COVID and ongoing government spending have helped cauterize the nation’s financial wounds, Mr Waislitz cautioned the mental health costs of the pandemic aren’t yet fully realised.
“One thing we shouldn’t underestimate, and it’s a real concern and something we have to be very understanding and compassionate about, is obviously the impact on people’s health, and I’m talking about mental health as well as physical ailments from people who have suffered from COVID,” he said.
Mr Wasilitz commended business owners and management teams around the country for their efforts these past 12 months to support workers, and encouraged them to continue doing so.
But he added everyone from school students through to working age Australians and beyond have been affected by the pandemic and the cost of this, though not financial, will nonetheless weigh on the country.
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