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Xerox pulls profit, revenue forecasts on coronavirus lockdown

Xerox has withdrawn its 2020 revenue and profit forecasts, citing economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19. The company’s revenue fell 14.7% in the first quarter.

Xerox HQ Norwalk Conn
  Xerox Holdings headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut, US

Xerox said global lockdowns have restricted its ability to sell, install and service its equipment. Revenue fell 14.7% to $1.86 billion in the first quarter ended March 31. $173 million of operating cash flow from continuing operations was down $49 million year-over-year; $150 million of free cash flow was down $57 million.  

In March, Xerox postponed its $US35 billion hostile takeover bid for HP because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted customer spending and global supply chains, and created significant volatility and disruption of financial markets,” Xerox Holdings said in a statement. “The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial performance, including our ability to execute our near-term and long-term business strategies and initiatives within the expected time frames, will depend on future developments, including the duration and severity of the pandemic and the extent and effectiveness of containment actions, the availability of therapeutics and the development of a vaccine, which are uncertain and cannot be predicted.

“Our operations are being negatively affected by a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control. For example, most countries, states, counties and cities have imposed and continue to impose a wide range of restrictions on our employees’, partners’ and customers’ physical movement to limit the spread of COVID-19 including travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, and business limitations and shutdowns. Such restrictions limit our ability, as well as that of our channel partners, to sell, install and service our equipment for our customers, negatively impacting our operations and financial performance. 

“Further, many countries are requiring businesses to remain closed unless they or their employees are deemed essential. In turn, businesses are requiring their office employees to work from home for extended periods of time, which is negatively impacting both sales and use of Xerox products, supplies and services. The longer this persists, the greater effect it will have on our business.”

Xerox CEO John Visentin added: “During this unprecedented time, we are committed to doing everything in our power to protect our employees, customers, partners and society, because we all have a critical role to play battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While Xerox saw an immediate impact to our business due to the rapid implementation of lockdown measures globally, the disciplined approach we implemented over the last two years provided a foundation to move quickly to preserve cash, continue operations, provide support to our many clients on the frontlines, and apply our manufacturing and R&D expertise to help save lives. I’m incredibly proud of the Xerox team’s dedication and ingenuity during this extraordinary time.”