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Drop in Demand Hits Car Makers -- Earnings at a Glance

07/23/2020 | 11:42am EST

Auto makers reported lower customer demand and results Thursday in the first full quarter to show the global effects of the new coronavirus.

Daimler AG's net loss widened and revenue fell in the second quarter as a result of the closure of sales centers in its core markets due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The German premium car maker said it is now seeing the first signs of recovery, especially at Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, with strong demand for its top-end models and electrified vehicles. Still, Daimler expects a significant contraction of the global car market in 2020 and assumes that coronavirus-related unit sales decreases won't be offset in the rest of the year.

South Korean car makers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. saw sharp falls in their second-quarter profits, weighed mainly by the pandemic suppressing demand for vehicles overseas.

Great Wall Motor Co. also had lower sales during the pandemic. The Chinese car maker said its first-half net profit fell 24% from a year earlier.

Other earnings reported Thursday:

Air Products & Chemicals Inc.: The gas and chemical company reported an 8.5% fall in third-quarter profit, largely due to the negative effects of the pandemic on the business.

American Airlines Group Inc.: The airline posted a big loss for the second quarter. "COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown of the U.S. economy have caused severe disruptions to global demand for air travel," CEO Doug Parker said. The airline ended the quarter with $10.2 billion in available liquidity, after receiving bailout funds from the U.S. government and issuing $1.2 billion of debt.

AT&T Inc.: The telecom and media company's second-quarter profit fell as the pandemic and an already unhealthy satellite-TV business overshadowed the launch of its make-or-break streaming video service.

Beazley PLC: The U.K. specialty insurer reported a swing to pretax loss for the first half as the pandemic boosted claims.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust: The company's second-quarter distribution per unit fell 23% on year due to fall in income from Singapore properties caused by lower occupancies and rental waivers to tenants affected by pandemic.

Croda International PLC: The FTSE-100 chemicals company said pretax profit for the first half of 2020 fell after booking higher costs, and, although trading has stabilized, visibility is limited and the timing of recovery remains unclear due to the pandemic.

Daily Mail & General Trust PLC: The U.K. media group said it swung to an adjusted operating loss for the third quarter of its fiscal 2020, as the pandemic disrupted its U.K. property information, events and consumer media operations.

Dow Inc.: The materials company swung to a second-quarter loss as revenue declined amid lower volumes during the continuing pandemic.

Getlink SE: The French operator of the Channel Tunnel between the U.K. and France said it swung to a net loss in the first half of the year, while revenue suffered the consequences of the pandemic.

G4S PLC: The FTSE-250 security services company posted a higher profit before tax for the first half of the year, but its underlying performance was hit by the pandemic and the company suspended its interim dividend.

Hershey Co.: The candy maker reported a weaker profit and falling sales for the second quarter, as retailers, struggling with the effects of the pandemic on their businesses, pulled back on candy orders.

Howden Joinery Group PLC: The U.K. maker of kitchen and joinery products swung to a pretax loss for the first half of the year after it booked higher costs and revenue fell. Howden Joinery said predictions of future demand levels are difficult due to the effect of the pandemic.

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings PLC: The diagnostic testing kit provider said revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 has been hurt by the pandemic, with April suffering the hardest hit and June seeing some recovery.

Kimberly-Clark Corp.: The home-goods company reported a higher profit in the latest quarter, driven in part by cost-saving efforts and by higher consumer-tissue sales during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learning Technologies Group PLC: The U.K. provider of services and technologies for digital learning said first-half trading rose in line with management views despite a limited coronavirus hit on the underlying business.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd.: The food retailer company reported a 40% fall in second-quarter profit despite higher revenue in the period and said Covid-19-related expenses negatively affected earnings.

Mapletree Commercial Trust: The Singapore-based trust's net property income fell almost 11% in its fiscal first quarter, largely due to rental rebates granted to retail tenants hard hit by the pandemic.

Maxis Bhd.: The Malaysian cellular service provider's net profit for the second quarter dropped 14% from a year earlier, mainly due to its weaker wholesale business and higher impairment of receivables amid the pandemic.

Novolipetsk Steel: The London-listed Russian steelmaker reported a fall in net profit and revenue for the second quarter as the pandemic dented demand.

Property Franchise Group PLC: The estate and lettings agency said its overall performance in the first half was strong despite the coronavirus and it returned to growth in June, reinstating its interim dividend.

Publicis Groupe SA: The major advertising agency conglomerate reported a 2.6% increase in net revenue in the second quarter, but organic revenue -- a key industry measure that strips out currency effects, acquisitions and disposals -- fell 13%. Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said the wider economic upheaval prompted by the coronavirus was proving to be at least as bad as he anticipated after the first quarter. The social unrest following the police killing of George Floyd has added another layer of challenges, he said.

Quest Diagnostics Inc.: The diagnostics company reported a smaller second-quarter profit than last year's amid a 6.4% revenue decline as the pandemic skewed the demand for health-care services.

RELX PLC: The FTSE 100 information and analytics group said net profit for the first half fell 30% as the pandemic hit revenue, and its full-year outlook for its events division is highly uncertain.

Repsol SA: The Spanish energy company swung to a loss in the second quarter due to the historic fall in oil and gas prices caused by the pandemic.

Roche Holding AG: The Swiss pharm giant reported a 6.3% fall in first-half net profit as the pandemic hurt sales across its whole business. Roche cited travel restrictions, canceled or delayed patient visits, and minimized visits to pharmacies by consumers.

Severstal PAO: The Russian steelmaker reported a sharp rise in second-quarter net profit on foreign exchange gains but said first-half results were hurt by the pandemic and weak steel prices.

Southwest Airlines Co.: The carrier posted a loss for the second quarter and said improvements in passenger traffic stalled in July as some states saw a resurgence in Covid-19.

Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust: The Singapore-based trust's first-half distribution to unitholders fell 31% from a year earlier as it retained capital to guard against financial stresses from the pandemic.

Twitter Inc.: The social media company reported strong user growth but experienced lingering impacts from the pandemic in its latest quarter, as the platform will have to navigate a rocky advertising climate and the fallout from a major security breach in the weeks ahead.

Unilever PLC: The consumer-goods company reported better-than-expected second-quarter sales as a strong performance in the U.S. outweighed coronavirus-related declines elsewhere in the world.

Union Pacific Corp.: The U.S. railroad reported a weaker second-quarter profit, reflecting how demand for shipments across the company's business lines fell off amid coronavirus-related shutdowns earlier this year.

Vodacom Group Ltd.: The telecommunications company's revenue rose 5.6% in the first quarter, as the coronavirus lockdown boosted mobile and fixed traffic in South Africa. As a result of increased demand, the company accelerated network infrastructure spending by 22% and used a temporary assignment of spectrum to increase its network capacity and fast-track the launch of its 5G network.

W.W. Grainger Inc.: The company reported a smaller second-quarter profit amid an estimated decline in its primary market for maintenance, repair and operating products during the pandemic.

Write to Rose Manzo at rose.manzo@wsj.com

 

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIR PRODUCTS & CHEMICALS -2.08% 278.12 Delayed Quote.18.35%
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 0.81% 14.94 Delayed Quote.-47.91%
AT&T INC. -0.82% 28.99 Delayed Quote.-25.82%
BEAZLEY PLC -2.08% 357 Delayed Quote.-34.42%
CAPITALAND COMMERCIAL TRUST 0.61% 1.65 End-of-day quote.-17.09%
CAPITALAND LIMITED 0.00% 3.13 End-of-day quote.-16.53%
CRODA INTERNATIONAL PLC 0.00% 5916 Delayed Quote.15.39%
DAILY MAIL AND GENERAL TRUST PLC 0.57% 699 Delayed Quote.-14.84%
DAIMLER AG 0.36% 56.21 Delayed Quote.13.61%
DOW INC. -2.25% 56.43 Delayed Quote.3.11%
DOW JONES AFRICA TITANS 50 INDEX -0.18% 506.38 Delayed Quote.-6.05%
DOW JONES SOUTH AFRICA(ZAR) 0.31% 1744.34 Delayed Quote.-3.59%
G4S PLC -0.63% 229 Delayed Quote.5.87%
GETLINK SE -0.21% 14.18 Real-time Quote.-8.38%
GREAT WALL MOTOR COMPANY LIMITED -2.09% 15.96 End-of-day quote.177.08%
HOWDEN JOINERY GROUP PLC -0.14% 617.8 Delayed Quote.-7.97%
HYUNDAI CORPORATION -0.33% 15200 End-of-day quote.-15.08%
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY -0.28% 179000 End-of-day quote.48.55%
IMMUNODIAGNOSTIC SYSTEMS HOLDINGS PLC 25.00% 259 Delayed Quote.-26.74%
KIA MOTORS CORPORATION -1.02% 58400 End-of-day quote.31.83%
KIMBERLY-CLARK CORPORATION 1.08% 140.7 Delayed Quote.2.29%
LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES GROUP PLC 1.04% 132.8 Delayed Quote.-4.55%
LOBLAW COMPANIES LIMITED 0.33% 64.06 Delayed Quote.-4.39%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.21% 47.79 Delayed Quote.-27.39%
MAPLETREE COMMERCIAL TRUST 0.00% 2.07 End-of-day quote.-13.39%
MAXIS 0.00% 5.16 End-of-day quote.-3.01%
MSCI UNITED KINGDOM (STRD, UHD) -0.88% 992.939 Real-time Quote.-15.86%
NOVOLIPETSK STEEL 1.94% 198.16 End-of-day quote.37.88%
PAO SEVERSTAL 2.33% 1149.2 End-of-day quote.22.57%
PAO SEVERSTAL 0.13% 15.06 Delayed Quote.-0.66%
PUBLICIS GROUPE SA -0.52% 38.37 Real-time Quote.-4.44%
QUEST DIAGNOSTICS -1.33% 124.33 Delayed Quote.16.42%
RELX PLC -1.03% 1720.5 Delayed Quote.-8.69%
REPSOL S.A. -0.26% 8.402 Delayed Quote.-39.44%
ROCHE HOLDING AG -0.07% 303.05 Delayed Quote.-3.47%
S&P AFRICA 40 INDEX 0.12% 164.24 Delayed Quote.-5.58%
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES 0.04% 48.27 Delayed Quote.-10.58%
SUNTEC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST 0.00% 1.53 End-of-day quote.-16.85%
THE HERSHEY COMPANY -0.04% 148.15 Delayed Quote.0.80%
THE PROPERTY FRANCHISE GROUP PLC 0.57% 175 Delayed Quote.-13.00%
TWITTER 2.65% 46.43 Delayed Quote.44.87%
UNILEVER N.V. 0.43% 51.24 Delayed Quote.-0.53%
UNILEVER PLC 0.00% 4584 Delayed Quote.5.32%
UNION PACIFIC -0.70% 207.24 Delayed Quote.14.63%
VODACOM GROUP LIMITED 0.83% 125.6 End-of-day quote.8.93%
W.W. GRAINGER,INC. -1.42% 414.58 Delayed Quote.22.47%
WTI 0.13% 44.995 Delayed Quote.-26.98%
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