FACTBOX-Corporate Australia burdened by Omicron surge

Australia has seen a record surge in COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant, which has strained supply chains, overwhelmed hospitals, and clouded the outlook of firms that were just recovering from the impact of the Delta outbreak. Companies have had to shelve plans to ramp up their business, flag a hit to earnings, or earmark additional costs, as Omicron has thrown a spanner in the works of businesses that sought a brighter outlook for 2022.


Reuters | Melbourne | Updated: 21-01-2022 10:05 IST | Created: 21-01-2022 09:55 IST
FACTBOX-Corporate Australia burdened by Omicron surge
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Australia has seen a record surge in COVID-19 infections due to the Omicron variant, which has strained supply chains, overwhelmed hospitals, and clouded the outlook of firms that were just recovering from the impact of the Delta outbreak.

Companies have had to shelve plans to ramp up their business, flag a hit to earnings, or earmark additional costs, as Omicron has thrown a spanner in the works of businesses that sought a brighter outlook for 2022. Here is a list of companies that have a warned of a hit from the outbreak:

Whitehaven Coal Australia's biggest independent coal miner cut its 2022 managed run-of-mine coal production forecast, partly due to pandemic-led labor shortages. It said Omicron was hurting production in the country and there was material uncertainty about how much more impact COVID-19 would have.

Mount Gibson Iron The iron ore miner said travel restrictions, particularly inter-state border closures and quarantine restrictions for certain fly-in-fly-out workers, had limited the availability of skilled personnel, which continued to significantly challenge its operations.

BHP The global miner said 2022 copper production will be towards the lower end of its forecast and cut its annual metallurgical coal output outlook, partly due to labor constraints from COVID-19. The company expects workforce absenteeism because of the Omicron variant to continue into the early part of the second half of 2022.

Rio Tinto The world's largest iron ore miner forecast weaker-than-expected 2022 iron ore shipments, as prolonged COVID-19 disruptions led to labor shortages and production delays from the new greenfields mine at the Gudai-Darri project.

Wesfarmers The retail conglomerate said rising Omicron cases had led to weaker trading conditions over Christmas and subdued traffic to its stores in the first half of January, while also disrupting its supply chain and stock availability as employees at its distribution centers missed work due to COVID-19.

Qantas Airways The airline pared about a third of its planned domestic and international capacity for the March quarter to better match travel demand after a rise in COVID-19 infections.

Virgin Australia The airline said it would reduce capacity across its network by around 25% for part of January and for February due to reduced travel demand and staff being required to isolate.

Bega Cheese The cheesemaker issued a profit warning that sent its shares tumbling, as it said the impact from COVID-19 had been "extensive and significant".

Inghams Group The poultry producer said the rapid spread of Omicron was partly responsible for impacting the supply chain, operations, and sales. It said staff shortages due to COVID-19 were hurting its production volume and operational efficiency.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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