Car rental group Europcar drops 2020 outlook as Q3 results hit by COVID

PARIS, Oct 26 (Reuters) - French car rental company Europcar - one of many in the transport sector to have been hit by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis - dropped its 2020 financial outlook on Monday as it posted a slump in its third-quarter results.

Europcar’s quarterly sales fell 46.7% from a year earlier to 537.2 million euros ($635.8 million), and it posted a net loss of 9.7 million euros.

Europcar’s net debt stood at 1.322 billion euros.

Travel companies around the world have been hit by governments imposing travel restrictions to try and tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

Company cost cutting efforts will save close to 1 billion euros in 2020,” said Europcar CEO Caroline Parot.

“However, in a volatile and highly uncertain business environment, as the Covid-19 outbreak develops again at an unpredictable pace, we consider that we can no longer provide a full year 2020 guidance,” she added.

Investment firm Eurazeo, which is Europcar’s main shareholder with a 29.9% stake, had been exploring a sale of the company, sources close to the matter had told Reuters in July.

$1 = 0.8450 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kim Coghill