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Steadfast withdraws earnings guidance

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Steadfast has withdrawn its earnings guidance for this financial year due to implications raised by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company had said at the end of last month that its results would be at the top end of the guidance range for the year to June 30, reflecting a strong performance in the first half and in the two months to the end of February.

“However, given the events that have unfolded during the month of March 2020 and the implications for numerous businesses and employees, the board of Steadfast considers it prudent to withdraw its guidance,” it said today in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“In making this decision, the board notes that the general insurance sector will continue to provide the necessary insurance products that allow businesses to continue to trade and the community to protect their assets and that Steadfast Group as the largest insurance broker network in Australasia will continue to play a major role.”

Steadfast says it will provide an update on the expected financial performance and the impact of the unfolding COVID-19 situation “when practical”.

The company had forecast full-year underlying net profit after tax of $100-110 million and underlying earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of $215-225 million.

In the six months to December 31, underlying net profit after tax grew 39.1% to $53.2 million and EBITA increased 27.5% to $108.9 million.