The effects of the current bushfire season have been terrible and widely felt. It comes as no surprise that some ASX listed companies have been hurt by this season’s particularly bad fires.
Fashion retailer Mosaic brands (MOZ.ASX) released a trading update which stated that “sales through the second half of November and throughout December, a critical sales period for the Group, were significantly impacted by the ongoing bushfire tragedy”.
Mosaic Brands is a large specialty fashion retailer group. Their brands include Noni B, Rockmans, W.Lane, Beme and the recently acquired Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers. The company states that around 20 percent of the Group’s stores have been directly impacted by the fires, with additional stores in rural Australia seeing sales decline due to a dent to rural consumer confidence.
The announcement from Mosaic brands comes after the announcement by some other listed companies over the impact of the current devastating fire season.
On the third of January, major insurer IAG (IAG.ASX) (who owns prominent brands NRMA, CGU, Swan Insurance and others) announced they had received more than 2,800 bushfire related claims since the beginning of September 2019; with Bushfires expected to contribute $160 million to the net claims cost of the business for 1H20.
Last week Suncorp (SUN.ASX) announced that they had received more than 2,600 bushfire related claims since September 2019, and that the cost of the claims was estimated to be between $315 and $345 million.
Bega Cheese (BGA.ASX), which operates around its namesake town of Bega in New South Wales has stated that milk supply will be reduced by around 2 million litres, but that there will be “minimal direct impact to the Company overall or milk supply or its ongoing operations”. This is despite fires burning through parts of the Bega Valley this bushfire season.
Fires in NSW have also damaged property belonging to VitalHarvest (VTH.ASX), which leases to agricultural producer Costa Group (CGC.ASX).
Tourism to parts of rural Australia is also likely to be affected by the ongoing bushfires, with REIT Aspen Group, who manages properties that include tourist accommodation, announcing that they expected net operating income (NOI) to be negatively impacted by at least $500,000 due to the reduction in tourism business caused by the fires.
The fires on Kangaroo Island have negatively impacted Kangaroo Island Timber Plantation (KPT.ASX), with at least 1,862 hectares of timber plantations (and potentially a lot more) being damaged by two different fires. It is hard to say at this point what the cost of the damage will be, but the company does have fire insurance that covers the standing tree crop and allows for other costs.
It is likely that there are many more other ASX listees in the tourism, insurance, agriculture, property, mining, and other sectors that will be affected by the current bushfire season. The extent of damaged caused by the fires will not be known for some time.