ECONOMY

Pandemic hits earnings hard

pandemic-hits-earnings-hard

Businesses across economic sectors posted significant earnings losses in June, despite the fact that was the month that the lockdown ended.

Hellenic Statistical Authority data show that total earnings in June were 18.6 billion euros, from €22 billion in June 2019, a loss of €3.6 billion or 16.4%.

For the second quarter of 2020 (April-June), which included most of the lockdown period, turnover was €58.9 billion, from €78.8 billion in the same period in 2019. That is nearly a €20 billion loss, or 25.1%

The shutdown of tourism, which essentially restarted in mid-June, and the limitation of trips outside the home, hit hotels and catering (bars, cafes and restaurants) hardest.

ELSTAT data show that turnover in the accommodation sector declined 94.3% in the second quarter, from €1.8 billion in 2019 to €104.6 million this year. The greatest decline was in Lassithi, eastern Crete (-99.5%), and the smallest in the northwestern Florina area (11.7%).

Catering businesses experienced a 59% drop in the second quarter, with the popular island destination of Santorini seeing business drop 95.6%, while the town of Grevena, in the northern region of Western Macedonia, observed “only” a 33.3% drop in business. In Athens and Thessaloniki, the country’s two largest cities, business in the sector declined over 50%.

For June specifically, the month when the economy reopened, accommodation businesses posted a 95.3% decline, from €867.7 million last year to €40.5 million this year, with the western island of Ithaka registering 100%. Catering businesses’ turnover was down 42.2% on 2019, with the island of Zakynthos suffering a 95.1% drop, while catering businesses in the prefecture of Arta saw turnover rise 62.8%.

Businessmen in catering are under no illusions that the situation will improve. They say that 40,000 businesses in their sector are facing closure over the next few months. Recent restrictions on opening hours and on the number of customers they can serve simultaneously, have hit earnings further.