Germany’s top companies post lower profits on higher turnover

Germany’s top companies saw a sharp decline in operating profits, despite a rise in turnover over the first nine months of last year, according to a survey by the EY business consultancy published in Frankfurt on Friday.

The difficult trading conditions were set to continue for the first half of 2020, EY executive Mathieu Meyer said. “Only in the second half might the easing in international trade conflicts lead to a new boost to growth,” Meyer said.

The survey of the 100 top listed companies – excluding the financial sector and measured by turnover – found a drop in operating profits by 19 per cent on the year to a little over 81 billion euros (90 billion dollars) for the months January to September.

This followed a decline of 7 per cent over the same period last year.

Worst hit was the chemicals sector, followed by the automotive sector, while the five telecommunications companies among the 100 top firms bucked the trend and posted a rise in profits.

By contrast, turnover rose by more than 4 per cent to almost 1.3 trillion euros, with more than three quarters of the companies in the survey posting a rise.

Automotive companies continued to top the list here, despite a difficult year for the sector. Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW were again the companies with the highest turnover.

Looking at operating profits, Volkswagen was top, followed by Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, BMW and Daimler.

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