July 31, 2020 / 6:18 AM / 14 days ago

Vinci warns on earnings and drops dividend after pandemic hits H1

PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - France's Vinci on Friday warned its 2020 earnings would fall significantly after lockdowns meant a sharp drop in its airport and motorway concessions business in the first half.

Vinci said given the current exceptional circumstances it would not pay an interim dividend but was confident in its ability to bounce back in 2021.

Europe’s biggest construction and concessions company said first-half operating profit from ordinary activities slumped to 267 million euros ($317.25 million) from 2.29 billion euros a year earlier.

Revenue of 18.5 billion euros was down 17% on a like-for-like basis.

Vinci said it saw an improvement in business activity in July but predicted earnings would likely show a year-on-year decline in the second half of 2020.

However, that decline, barring exceptional items, should be much less pronounced than that seen in the first half.

For 2021, Vinci expects its earnings to rise but remain lower than their 2019 level overall.

$1 = 0.8416 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Jason Neely

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