Best & Less climbs on ASX debut


Best & Less shares have proven popular on the Australian market as investors tip the company to overcome coronavirus lockdowns.

Shares in the family-friendly clothing chain were up 9.2 per cent to a record $2.36 at 1531 AEST on Monday.

The company raised $60 million by selling shares for $2.16 in its initial public offering.

The most pressing concern for retailers such as Best & Less group at the moment is the lockdowns in three states.

The company has 185 stores across Australia and confirmed fewer customers have visited due to virus rules.

Some stores, such as those in Victoria, were ordered to close temporarily.

However the group said it was still likely to meet its forecast of a first-half net profit of $26.9 million.

The view assumed that current lockdowns in the first-quarter would prove the most significant of the financial year.

The group said consumer demand would improve once restrictions were eased, as had happened before.

Online sales, cost-cutting and strong sales at the group’s New Zealand clothing chain Postie have also helped.

The group has 60 stores in New Zealand.

Private equity group Allegro Funds owned 40 per cent of the group prior to the ASX listing.

Allegro bought the business from Greenlit Brands last year then hired Macquarie Capital to assess expansion options.

Best & Less collected JobKeeper subsidies from the Australian government, which helped retain staff during the pandemic.