Coronavirus latest: Deluge of corporate reports illustrates deep Covid-19 scars

European corporate news round-up


BT will not pay a dividend for the first time since the start of the millennium and warned shareholders to brace for lower payouts in the future as the UK telecoms group focuses on improving its broadband network and safeguarding its credit rating.

British Airways parent IAG warned it will have to take further action to survive the blow inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic as it predicted it would take three years before passenger demand returns to normal.

InterContinental Hotels Group, the owner of the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands, said that it could currently last 18 months with empty hotels as it expects revenue per average room to be 80 per cent lower than last year in April.

Rolls Royce said that it expects to cut £1bn of costs this year, £250m more than previously estimated, as the company slashed its delivery target by 40 per cent for the year and warned of a smaller commercial aerospace market going forward.

Ticket booking platform Trainline said that UK and European passenger volumes are currently down as much as 95 per cent, as it reported that ticket sales rose 17 per cent to £3.7 billion in the financial year to the end of February.

Morgan Sindall said that 80 per cent of its construction sites are operational, albeit at lower levels of productivity, in a sign of a return to economic activity in the UK. 1,700 employees are currently furloughed, it added.

Continental Europe

The world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev sold almost a third less beer in April than a year earlier as the pandemic closed bars and restaurants across large parts of the world.

Puma warned investors on Thursday that the financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic will become worse in the second quarter after a 50 per cent year-on-year plunge in operating profit between January and March.

Air France-KLM fell to an €815m operating loss in the first quarter, despite only the final two weeks of the reporting period being affected by lockdowns in Europe.

Reinsurance provider Munich Re suffered €800m in losses related to Covid-19, largely due to insurance for event cancellations, reducing profits for the first quarter to €221m, a third of that achieved a year earlier.

Equinor reported that adjusted earnings before tax halved to $2.05bn in the first quarter, as the Norwegian oil major suspended guidance for the year due to government-imposed production curtailments, part of wider global efforts to reduce supply to support crude prices.

Euronav said that rates for its supertankers were $95,000 per day in the second quarter to date due to continuing demand for floating storage of oil, as profits at the Belgian tanker group surged to $225m, up from $20m a year ago.

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