May 13, 2020 / 5:39 AM / 14 days ago

Virus hit on Europe's corporate profits seen growing further

LONDON (Reuters) - Expectations for second- and third-quarter corporate profits have deteriorated in Europe, Refinitiv data showed on Wednesday, as fears grow over the extent of the recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies listed on the pan-European STOXX 600 are now expected to report a decline of 46.7% in second-quarter earnings, down from a drop of 44.9% forecast the week before.

For the third quarter, analyst expectations are now set for a 35.1% fall in earnings versus 32.7% a week ago.

While many governments in Europe have announced or started to adopt strategies to gradually ease lockdowns to contain the epidemic, there is little hope the economy will bounce back, let alone return to normal, before the first quarters of 2021.

The last three quarters of 2020 are expected to see STOXX 600 earnings fall by 16.4%, before bouncing back to 27.9% for the first quarter of next year.

Before the pandemic, analysts had expected the first quarter of 2020 to bring an end to Europe’s corporate recession that had lasted through 2019.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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