Nine, BlueScope and more scrap forecasts

Nine Entertainment, BlueScope Steel and more companies have joined the flood of listed firms cancelling their earnings forecasts as coronavirus chaos spreads.

Homewares trader Adairs, meanwhile, has cancelled its interim dividend of 7.0 cents per share, as well as scrapping its guidance.

Media giant Nine said the COVID-19 impact was initially limited but had begun to affect earnings.

"The forward ad market is becoming increasingly difficult to reliably predict," Nine said in a statement to the market on Thursday.

It said it was prudent to withdraw its previous profit guidance of flat earnings year-on-year as a result of the uncertainty.

It will still pay its five cent dividend on April 20.

BlueScope Steel said its business has been tracking in line with its expectations as China ramps back up.

But the national shutdown in Malaysia had disrupted business.

Overnight, a number of US car makers said they would suspend production, leading to uncertainty for BlueScope's North Star operations.

BlueScope also said it was prudent to withdraw its guidance of about $302 million in underlying earnings before interest and tax for the second half.

Village Roadshow chief executive Clark Kirby said its cinemas and theme parks may have to close temporarily.

Cinemas are among the venues affected by the government ban on gatherings of more than 100 people indoors.

Film studios have postponed the release of movies.

There are fewer visitors to Village's theme parks, which include Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild on the Gold Coast.

Harvey Norman has closed some stores overseas due to governments' orders trying to limit the virus' spread.

Stores in Croatia, Malaysia and Slovenia have closed temporarily.

The retailer's overseas sales have grown strongly in recent times.

Crown Resorts, which operates the Crown Melbourne and Perth casinos, has further reduced capacity as part of social distancing.

The number of people allowed in food and beverage, banqueting and conference rooms will be limited from 450 to 100.

Bob Johnston, the chief executive of property developer GPT Group, said these were uncertain times for customers and staff.

GPT in February estimated growth of 3.5 per cent in funds from operations per security, and distribution per security, for its full year.

However it has scrapped guidance due to the coronavirus impact.

On Wednesday Aristocrat Leisure, Kathmandu, Ramsay Health, Mirvac and others scrapped earnings guidance while troubled theme park operator Ardent Leisure will close its US venues as the COVID-19 pandemic clouds the global economic outlook.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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