SNCF says Geodis freight unit hit by coronavirus impact

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) - The head of French railways company SNCF said on Thursday that an economic slowdown in China triggered by the coronavirus outbreak was hitting its freight unit Geodis.

“China is a big producer of services and goods. Indeed our Geodis unit is impacted, it is losing several million (euros) per month due to the China slowdown,” Jean-Pierre Farandou told RTL radio.

It was, however, too early to say if the coronavirus was hitting passenger train traffic in France, he said.

“It’s hard to say. There is a re-start after the transport strikes but this epidemic climate is not helping mobility,” Farandou added.

Strikes over pension reforms that started in early December in France cost SNCF one billion euros in lost revenue, Farandou reiterated.

France has so far reported 285 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Susan Fenton