1300Smiles is grateful to the Federal Government for its JobKeeper program, which has helped the company to keep on approximately 200 employees throughout Australia that qualified. No employees lost their jobs despite the closure of multiple dental practices and a dramatic hit in earnings in the months affected by the pandemic.
We strongly object to how the use of JobKeeper funds by 1300Smiles and other companies has been characterised.
The dividend in question relates to the company’s financial performance to June 2020. Despite the pandemic’s impacts during March, April and May, during government-imposed restrictions, the company delivered a strong financial performance and growth under Dr. Holmes’ leadership.
The company has financial obligations to its shareholders, which include many self-funded retirees and mum and dad shareholders who depend on dividend income.
The continued impacts of the pandemic remain unclear, but the financial performance and dividends paid to shareholders at the conclusion of the current financial year will reflect those impacts.