Corporate profits heading downhill for Canadian companies thus far in 2012

BC’s most profitable companies aren’t alone in seeing corporate profits fall so far this year. According to Statistics Canada, operating profits for Canadian corporations fell ...

BC’s most profitable companies aren’t alone in seeing corporate profits fall so far this year. According to Statistics Canada, operating profits for Canadian corporations fell in 2012’s second quarter after two consecutive quarters of increases.

Profits were down 4.9% to $71.9 billion with manufacturing and oil and gas sectors leading the decline. However, profits fell for 15 of the 22 industry segments StatsCan measures.

Profits dropped more for non-financial companies, slipping 5% to $52.2 billion, the second consecutive quarterly decline.

Some of the industries with the largest percentage declines included primary metal manufacturers (-51.8%), the oil and gas industry (-31%) and petroleum and coal product manufacturers (-18.1%).

Weakening commodity prices were the key contributors to profit declines for metal and coal-product manufacturers.

While Canada’s financial institutions have continued to warn of slowing profits, their earnings have fallen slightly less than others. Operating profits edged lower 4.6% to $19.7 billion in the second quarter following a 20.1% jump in the first three months of 2012. However, further profit declines are expected overall.

Bloomberg reported third quarter sales for 188 firms that have reported since October 1 have fallen 7.4% with the earnings of TSX-listed companies having dipped 13% in the third quarter so far.

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