World News

Pandemic to wipe out $17 billion in Japan firms’ sales: research

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s listed firms expect nearly $17 billion in sales to be wiped out from the coronavirus pandemic that has led to supply chain disruptions, travel bans and government requests to shut down some operations, a private think tank said on Friday.

Of Japan’s 3,778 listed firms, 36.7% disclosed information on the impact the outbreak has had on their operations as of Thursday, Tokyo Shoko Research said in a report.

Of those that disclosed information, 240 firms revised down their sales estimates by a combined 1.8 trillion yen ($16.71 billion), and net profit forecasts by 1.48 trillion yen, it said.

Nearly 40% were manufacturers hit by supply chain disruptions and slumping sales, while about 35% were from the service and retail sectors suffering from soft consumption, the report said.

“The spread of the coronavirus is having a huge impact not just on people’s livelihood but on companies,” it said.

Among those that revised down estimates is major Japanese slot machine maker Universal Entertainment Corp <6425.T>, which was forced to suspend its casino operation in the Philippines due to the pandemic, Tokyo Shoko Research said.

Another 510 firms said they could not produce estimates on how much the pandemic could affect their earnings.

An increasing number of firms have postponed their earnings announcement due to the pandemic with the total so far having reached 54, it said.

With more than 9,000 infections and nearly 200 deaths nationally, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday expanded a state of emergency to include the entire country, urging people to stay home and businesses to close.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Christopher Cushing)