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Listed companies’ profits in free fall as coronavirus takes toll

By Dat Nguyen   June 5, 2020 | 06:22 pm PT
Listed companies’ profits in free fall as coronavirus takes toll
An employee holds Vietnamese banknotes at a bank in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Listed companies saw their combined net profits plunge by nearly 58 percent year-on-year in the first quarter due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Major drops were seen in oil and gas, down 303 percent; tourism, leisure and aviation (down 212 percent); and real estate (down 81 percent), according to a report by financial data provider FiinGroup.

But some sectors managed to achieve growth. The telecom sector reported a 227 percent increase in profits, while basic materials and information technology were up 25.4 percent and 14 percent respectively.

The report compiled data from 999 listed companies, which account for 98 percent of the total market capitalization.

Operating cash flow plunged to negative for the first time since 2015, coming in at minus VND26 trillion ($1.1 billion).

As a result, companies borrowed more to maintain operations, increasing the debt to equity ratio from 0.68 at the end of last year to 0.72 in the first quarter.

Cash flow from investing activities contracted by 40 percent year-on-year to a three-year low of VND37.7 trillion ($1.6 billion).

"Companies have suspended their investment activities to ensure security in their cash flow amid the pandemic."

Companies are lowering their targets amid the challenges. The combined figures for the 426 companies that have announced their profit target for this year fell 12 percent from last year.

Oil and gas companies anticipate a 35 percent fall in profits while food and beverage firms expect a 23 percent fall.

Last year the post-tax profits of listed companies rose 12.6 percent to VND303 trillion ($13 billion), led by the banking and property sectors, according to top brokerage, SSI Securities Corporation.

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