April 30, 2020 / 5:50 AM / a month ago

Belgium's Umicore warns of considerable profit decline in 2020 due to COVID-19

April 30 (Reuters) - Belgian battery producer Umicore warned on Thursday its 2020 core profit would fall below 2019 levels as the duration of coronavirus-related restrictions is “highly uncertain”, and makes visibility on market demand extremely low.

The company expects its recurring earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to be “well below the level of 2019”.

The automotive industry, where Umicore supplies batteries for electric vehicles, was severely hit by the crisis globally, the company said, resulting in a 25% year-on-year decline in car production in the first quarter. (Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdansk; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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