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May 6, 2020, 2:30 a.m. EDT

Smith & Nephew warns of substantial virus hit

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By Jaime Llinares Taboada

Smith & Nephew PLC on Wednesday warned that performance could be substantially lower for the second quarter as revenue almost halved in April, but the January-March drop was softer than expected.

The FTSE 100-listed medical-technology company said that revenue fell 47% in April on an underlying basis--adjusting for acquisitions, disposals and foreign currency. It added that both second-quarter revenue and the first-half trading margin are expected to be substantially down from a year earlier.

The group reported revenue of $1.13 billion for the first quarter of 2020, down from $1.20 billion a year earlier, but above the company-compiled consensus of $1.12 billion from eight brokers' forecasts.

Underlying revenue fell 7.6%, compared with the 8.1% decline expected by the analysts and the 8% fall anticipated by the company in late March.

Smith & Nephew said that full-year guidance remains withdrawn due to uncertainty regarding the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

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