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European Companies Begin Reinstating Guidance After Coronavirus Upheaval

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07/31/2020 | 09:49am EDT

By Giulia Petroni

 

This week, a number of European companies came out of hiding regarding 2020 guidance, offering new targets or revising previous ones in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Other companies, however, are still on the sidelines, citing lingering uncertainties and low visibility as new outbreaks spread across Europe.

Below is a round-up of outlook statements from the past week.

 

New guidance:

 

--BT GROUP PLC: The U.K. telecommunications group issued full-year guidance, saying it expects adjusted earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization for the year ending March 31, 2021 to be between GBP7.2 billion and GBP7.5 billion. Adjusted revenue for the year is expected to fall between 5% and 6%.

 

--NESTLE SA: The Swiss food and beverage giant expects organic sales growth between 2% and 3%. It also expects its underlying trading operating profit margin to improve and an increase in underlying earnings per share in constant currency and capital efficiency.

 

Lowered Guidance:

 

ENGIE SA: The French energy company expects net recurring income between EUR1.7 billion and EUR1.9 billion and capital expenditure at between EUR7.5 billion and EUR8 billion, assuming a continued and gradual return to normality across geographies. The company withdrew guidance in April.

 

FRESENIUS SE & CO. KGAA: The German health-care company expects sales growth of 3% to 6% at constant currencies and net income growth of between minus 4% to positive 1%. The company had previously guided for sales growth of 4%-7% and net income growth of 1%-5%, both at constant currencies.

 

LEONARDO SPA: The Italian aerospace-and-defense company expects 2020 revenue between EUR13.2 billion and EUR14 billion, and orders between EUR12.5 billion and EUR13.5 billion. Guidance assumes no virus resurgence or further lockdowns. Leonardo suspended its 2020 guidance in May.

 

MTU AERO ENGINES AG: The German engine manufacturer released new guidance, saying it expects revenue between EUR4 billion and EUR4.4 billion, compared with EUR4.6 billion in 2019. Adjusted EBIT margin is expected between 9% and 10%, down from 16% the prior year. MTU Aero scrapped guidance in March, having previously expected revenue and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes for 2020 to grow at a high single-digit percentage.

 

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC SE: The French energy-management group now expects revenue to fall between 7% to 10% organically, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization margin to fall by between 50 basis points and 90bps organically, implying a margin between 14.5% to 15%.

 

SIEMENS GAMESA RENEWABLE ENERGY SA: The Madrid-listed turbine maker guided for revenue between EUR9.5 billion and EUR10 billion and its EBIT margin before PPA and integration and restructuring costs to fall between -3% and -1%. This equates to a reduction of EUR1 billion in revenue and EUR200 million-EUR250 million in profitability compared to the previous guidance, which was withdrawn in April.

 

Lifted Guidance:

 

DELIVERY HERO AG: The German food-delivery company raised revenue guidance to a range of between EUR2.6 billion and EUR2.8 billion. It had previously targeted revenue of between EUR2.4 billion and EUR2.6 billion.

 

NOKIA CORP: The Finnish telecoms giant lifted full-year guidance as profitability and cash generation strengthened. The company now expects 2020 adjusted earnings per share of EUR0.25, plus or minus 5 cents, and an adjusted operating margin of 9.5%, plus or minus 1.5 percentage points, from EUR0.23 and 9% respectively.

 

SANOFI SA: The French pharmaceutical company raised guidance for business earnings per share for the year. It now expects business EPS to grow between 6% and 7% at constant exchange rates for 2020, up from a previous forecast for a 5% rise.

 

Backed guidance:

 

ASTRAZENECA PLC: The British pharmaceutical giant said 2020 guidance remains unchanged, and that it continues to expect total revenue to increase by a high single-digit to a low double-digit percentage and core EPS to increase by a mid-to-high-teens percentage.

 

ATOS SE: The French IT company backed its guidance for 2020, assuming a progressive recovery over the second half of 2020 and 2021. This includes a revenue fall of between 2% and 4% organically, an operating margin rate at 9% to 9.5% of revenue and free cash flow of between EUR500 million and EUR600 million. Atos cut its targets in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: The British pharmaceutical giant maintained its 2020 adjusted EPS guidance--a decline in the range of 1% to 4% at CER--but said there are still some risks to its business performance over the year, for example the timing of a recovery in vaccination rates.

 

SAP SE: The German software company reiterated its 2020 outlook, saying it expects operating profit to be in a range of EUR8.1 billion to EUR8.7 billion at constant currencies, and total revenue in a range of EUR27.8 billion to EUR28.5 billion at constant currencies.

 

TELEFONICA DEUTSCHLAND HOLDING AG: The German telecommunications company backed its full-year revenue and operating income guidance and said it is on track to achieve its expansion targets. It added it expects revenue for 2020 to be flat or slightly positive on the year. Oibda is forecast to remain stable or slightly positive on the year too, it said.

 

VOLKSWAGEN AG: The German car maker didn't provide detailed guidance for the year. It confirmed its previous outlook comments, expecting full-year sales to be "significantly" below prior-year level and operating profit to be "severely" below last year's figure but still positive.

 

Withheld Guidance:

 

AIRBUS SE: The European plane maker said it still won't issue a new guidance for the year as visibility remains low, particularly in regard to deliveries. Full-year guidance was withdrawn in March.

 

BASF SE: The German chemical company said it still couldn't provide a full-year outlook and added it doesn't see third-quarter EBIT before special items improving significantly on quarter, partly due to generally lower demand in August. The 2020 outlook was withdrawn at the end of April.

 

ESSILORLUXOTTICA SA: The Franco-Italian optical giant said it is unable to reinstate guidance for the year as the situation is too volatile, after scrapping it in March.

 

WACKER CHEMIE AG: The German chemical company refrained from providing specific guidance for the year. However, it said it expects sales, Ebitda and Ebitda margin to be below 2019 levels. Net cash flow is expected be higher.

 

Write to Giulia Petroni at giulia.petroni@wsj.com

 

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AIRBUS SE -3.53% 59.32 Real-time Quote.-52.64%
ASTRAZENECA PLC -3.48% 8489 Delayed Quote.15.84%
ATOS SE -2.09% 67.66 Real-time Quote.-7.08%
BASF SE -0.56% 49.955 Delayed Quote.-25.35%
BT GROUP PLC -0.89% 100.75 Delayed Quote.-47.15%
DELIVERY HERO SE -0.17% 95.54 Delayed Quote.36.05%
ELECTRICITÉ DE FRANCE -2.06% 8.56 Real-time Quote.-11.89%
ENGIE -2.82% 11.025 Real-time Quote.-21.15%
ESSILORLUXOTTICA -0.28% 106.6 Real-time Quote.-21.24%
FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE AG & CO. KGAA -1.09% 70.84 Delayed Quote.8.73%
FRESENIUS SE & CO. KGAA -0.63% 38.07 Delayed Quote.-23.62%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC -2.30% 1455.073 Delayed Quote.-16.05%
LEONARDO S.P.A. 0.91% 4.89 Delayed Quote.-53.72%
MTU AERO ENGINES AG -2.20% 135.95 Delayed Quote.-45.50%
NESTLÉ S.A. -0.64% 108.28 Delayed Quote.4.08%
NOKIA OYJ -2.60% 3.2855 Delayed Quote.2.59%
SANOFI -0.63% 86.69 Real-time Quote.-2.86%
SAP SE -0.68% 130.68 Delayed Quote.9.71%
SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC SE -0.29% 102.75 Real-time Quote.12.62%
SIEMENS AG 1.12% 113.48 Delayed Quote.-3.60%
SIEMENS GAMESA RENEWABLE ENERGY, S.A. -1.56% 21.4 Delayed Quote.39.49%
TELEFONICA DEUTSCHLAND HOLDING AG -1.62% 2.25 Delayed Quote.-11.46%
TELEFONICA S.A. 0.68% 2.973 Delayed Quote.-52.56%
VOLKSWAGEN AG 0.41% 136.08 Delayed Quote.-23.13%
WACKER CHEMIE AG -1.25% 79.18 Delayed Quote.18.57%
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