Businesses in all sectors of the economy declared net losses on average during 2010, according to the results of a survey released by ICAP on Monday.
Based on the aggregated financial reports of 25,616 individual firms, the report painted a bleak picture of a downturn in every sector of economic activity and showed that private-sector profitability had taken a severe pounding compared with previous years.
The overall aggregated figures showed a 3.3 percent decline in overall sales but without an equivalent reduction in cost of sales, leading to a sharp decline in gross profits (-11.6 percent) and a 78 percent fall in operating income (corresponding to 3.7 billion euro). This was made worse by a drastic increase in non-operating expenses leading to net losses in 2010 amounting to 2.33 billion euro, down from net profits of 4.0 billion euros in 2009.
Aggregate EBITDA declined 25.5 percent, down to 11.4 billion euro in 2010 from 15.4 billion euro in 2009.
The survey was carried out using on the annual financial reports published by 25,616 companies up until July 19, 2011 that had also published a report the previous year.
The sample included 5,176 industrial companies, 6,861 firms in commerce, 7,719 service providers (excluding banks), 2,519 technical and construction firms and 3,341 tourist enterprises.
On a sector-by-sector basis, industrial firms showed higher turnover but did not avoid net losses due to higher costs relative to sales, commerce showed a 7.4 percent slump in sales and smaller profit margins, the service sector recorded a 3.5 percent decline in turnover, technical firms showed a 20.2 percent slump in sales due to the overall slowdown in the construction sector, while tourist enterprises recorded a 4 percent slump in sales.