By Vesna Poljak


Australian companies are set to deliver earnings growth of almost 35 per cent but the good news will be overshadowed by the economic paralysis inflicted by Greater Sydney’s lockdown, clouding the 2021 profit season beginning this week.

After ruling off a financial year that delivered S&P/ASX 200 investors their best return since 1987 with a 24 per cent windfall, the results will pit quality earnings and dividend riches against uncertain or even absent guidance.

Shares are headed for a 0.3 per cent lift at Monday’s open from Friday’s record close of 7394.4 points.

Earnings growth of 34.7 per cent is tipped for the broader sharemarket in 2020-21, according to broker Citi, or 20.5 per cent without the outsized contribution of banks (52.3 per cent) and miners (59 per cent).

With an above-consensus 20.4 per cent growth forecast for 2021-22, the stakes are high in terms of the ability to disappoint investors.

Read more in the Australian Financial Review.