Home furnishings group Adairs plans to return millions of dollars in JobKeeper payments to the federal government after a bumper first half.
The ASX-listed company made the announcement after reporting a huge 233 per cent-plus jump in net profit to $43.9 million for the first six months of 2020/21
Adairs had collected $6.1 million from the government to retain and pay staff in the wake of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The company will repay the JobKeeper wage subsidy for the period,” it said on Tuesday, citing its strong performance.
Most workers were stood down in the 2019/20 financial year, when the impact of the pandemic was greatest.
Adairs also felt the effects of the Melbourne lockdown in the back half of 2020 when 43 stores had to close.
If the JobKeeper payment is excluded from the results, Adairs generated healthy underlying earnings of $60.2 million, up 166 per cent – which was much better than it expected.
Adairs credited customers focused on the comfort and presentation of their homes during the pandemic for a corresponding increase in online and bricks and mortar soft furnishings sales.