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$1.7m in JobKeeper payments refunded to Govt

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
Super Retail Group refunds $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments. Source: Getty
Super Retail Group refunds $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments. Source: Getty

The parent company of Rebel Sport and BCF, Super Retail Group, will return $1.7 million in JobKeeper payments after a bumper earnings season, the company stated.

In its first-half earnings report, Super Retail revealed it recorded growth amid “unprecedented” consumer demand throughout the 26 weeks to 26 December 2020.

Online sales grew by 87 per cent to $237 million, representing a whopping 13 per cent of the Group’s total sales, while click-and-collect sales increased 74 per cent to $108 million.

SuperCheap Auto generated the most revenue, followed by Rebel Sport, BCF and Macpac.

While the Group’s results were still subject to an external auditor review, it expects to deliver profit after-tax of between $170 and $173 million.

“The result excludes the $1.7 million received in JobKeeper wage support which will be returned to the Australian Government,” the company stated.

Super Retail is the second business to reveal it will refund JobKeeper payments to the Government, with Toyota saying it would also return around $18 million after its record fourth-quarter sales.

Toyota claimed payments for nearly 1,400 employees.

“Like most businesses, Toyota faced an extremely uncertain future when the COVID-19 health crisis developed into an economic crisis that even led to dealerships closing for extended periods in Victoria and Tasmania," Toyota CEO Matthew Callachor said.

"In the end, we were very fortunate to weather the storm better than most, so our management and board decided that returning JobKeeper payments was the right thing to do as a responsible corporate citizen.”

Labor’s shadow assistant minister for treasury, Andrew Leigh, has since called on Harvey Norman and Premier Investments (the parent company of Smiggle, Just Jeans, Dotti and Portmans) to also return their JobKeeper payments after recording profits.

Leigh tweeted: “If you can afford a multi-million CEO bonus & a whopping dividend, you don't need govt handouts.”

Leigh also told The Guardian that Premier Investments had received around $45 million in JobKeeper payments and went on to pay multi-million bonuses to its chief executive, as well as deliver dividends to shareholders.

“Premier has given every indication it is rolling in clover … if anyone should be paying back JobKeeper, it’s Premier,” he said.

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