The “WebSoft” have been “the absolute winners”. The sector’s turnover increased by 18.4% and its net profit was 21.8%. The oil and energy sector is the big loser.
The coronavirus epidemic, which causes a global recession this year, affects multinationals in various ways, with a share of losers but also big winners, according to a study by the research center of the Italian bank Mediobanca.
The analysis, released this Thursday, is based on financial results for the first nine months of 2020 of more than 160 companies with revenues of more than three billion euros (3.55 billion dollars). These are multinationals that saw their turnover decrease by 4.3% on average.
Multinational Internet companies (the “WebSoft”) have been “the absolute winners” of the pandemic. The turnover of the sector, with online commerce included led by Amazon, which weighs a third, increased 18.4% and its net profit was 21.8%.
“The web giants have confirmed their ability to adapt and their flexibility during this crisis”, as they have known “to take advantage of the containment measures adopted by governments” to try to stop the epidemic of covid-19, as well as ” consumption habits “, emphasizes the Mediobanca study center.
Food delivery services have experienced a boom (+ 47%), as well as video games (+ 40%) and electronic commerce (+ 33%).
On the other hand, online travel sales collapsed, with a drop of 52%.
The turnover of the large distribution sector (Carrefour, Woolworths …) increased by 8.8% and its net profit was 19.2%. Online commerce registered a good increase, with an acceleration in the third quarter (increased by more than 80%).
“The large food distribution, which was not affected by the containment measures, took advantage of the restrictions imposed on the restaurant sector and the phenomenon of teleworking as well as the tendency to accumulation (creation of stocks) by consumers, especially in the first quarter, “Mediobanca explained.
Consumption habits constantly changedAccording to experts, who recorded an increase in average consumption, a reduction in the frequency of purchases and a preference for small convenience stores, for discounts and supermarkets over hypermarkets.
At the same time the platforms multiplied for online shopping (Click & Collect and home delivery) and the development of innovative payment methods (via smartphones, for example).
Another big winner is the electronics sector, which has benefited from “global digital acceleration in response to the pandemic”, thanks to the development of “cloud computing” (dematerialized computing), artificial intelligence and 5G , highlights Mediobanca.
Their revenue increased by 5.7% and the net profit was 11.6%, also due to the increase in the demand for data centers, computer networks and information systems.
Although the net profit of this sector is at half-mast (-10.1%), the large firms (Bayer, Roche …) have seen their sales increase by 3.1% in nine months, with an increase in the first quarter, a decrease of 2.3% in the second and a further increase in the third, depending on the evolution of the pandemic.
For the whole of 2020, Mediobanca expects sales to increase about 3%, and believes that the discovery of vaccines could generate a strong increase in revenue for the companies involved.
The oil and energy sector is the big loser, with a notable drop of 32.3% in turnover for major firms (BP, PetroChina, etc.) and net losses, due to the collapse, although an improvement was recorded in the third quarter.
The year “2020 promises to be the most difficult the fashion industry has faced” (LVMH, Adidas …), due to the closure of stores and the cessation of tourism, highlights Mediobanca.