15 September 2020

Twice a year we summarise the half-year and full-year results of the companies in the ALCE portfolio. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected some of the results for the June 2020 half year, the companies in the portfolio remain strong. Several – e.g. APA, Amcor, BWP, Spark NZ, Steadfast, and Waypoint – have not been materially affected by the pandemic. Others – e.g. ASX, Coles, and Wesfarmers – have done very well in recent months.

Power utility AGL unsettled investors with a net profit which was lower than expected, but it also promised dividends which were higher than expected. The main problem was that lower demand caused a drop in wholesale electricity prices, at the same time as the expiry of old gas contracts brought higher gas prices. AGL customer demand rose 1% despite the 2% decline in market demand. The 51c final dividend meant that the FY20 dividend was cut by 18% to 98c, but management indicated that for the next two years the company would pay a special dividend to top up the payout ratio from 75% at present to 100%… [read more]

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