European Earnings: Mixed Start to the Week with Wires

Europe kicked off the week with mixed earnings Monday, with Spanish bank BBVA matching estimates, but Dutch logistics group TNT falling short of expectations.

Map of Europe

BBVA reported an almost 15 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 1.44 billion euros ($2.25 billion), in line with forecasts, on Monday.

In a statement, Spain's second-largest bank said net interest income came in at 2.73 billion euros, up 22.4 percent, with operating profit rising 14.9 percent to 2.70 billion.

A Reuters poll of 11 analysts had forecast BBVA would make net profit of 1.42 billion euros, net interest income of 2.76 billion and operating profit of 2.66 billion.

Its shares have fallen 14.9 percent so far this year, more or less in line with European peers but trading at a slight discount -- 7.5 times forecast 2009 earnings against an average of 7.8 times.


Dutch logistics group TNT reported a lower-than-expected first-quarter net profit, but the company stood by its guidance for the full year.

Its first-quarter operating profit fell 17.7 percent, at the low end of expectations, due to fewer working days in the period and a charge taken to end a joint venture.

Europe's second-biggest mail company had 289 million euros ($450.6 million) in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), down from 351 million a year ago and below an average forecast of 314 million euros in a Reuters poll of 13 analysts.

Analysts' estimates ranged from 271 million to 359 million euros.

TNT confirmed its 2008 outlook and said it saw economic activity in its markets at the same level as in the fourth quarter of 2007.


Appliance maker Electrolux posted a slightly narrower-than-expected first-quarter core loss, but saw full-year profit at the low end of its forecast range.

Electrolux swung to a loss before interest and tax of 39 million Swedish crowns ($6.51 million), excluding extraordinary items, from a year-ago profit of 757 million on weak demand at the start of 2008 and restructuring and product launch costs.

The outcome was just above a mean forecast of a 64 million loss in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.

The Sweden-based maker of vacuum cleaners, washing machines, fridges and freezers earlier this month warned it would fall to a first-quarter, but it stuck to its earnings forecast for the full year.

It also announced over 400 job cuts in Europe.


And the UK's largest hotel and restaurant group Whitbread said it has seen an encouraging start to the financial year as full-year pretax profit beat forecasts.

It said like-for-like sales in the first two months of this new financial year were increasing at the same rate as 2007/08.

Whitbread expects roughly to increase capital spending on expansion to between 280- 300 million pounds in the next 2-3 years, Chief Finance Officer Chris Rogers said, compared to 285 million pounds in the last year having recently secured a new 455 million pounds 5-year loan facility. 

-- Reuters contributed to this report