Apple supplier Foxconn's profit down 24% in last quarter of 2019

FILE PHOTO: A screen shows Foxconn founder Terry Gou giving a speech as employees wearing masks attend the company's year-end gala in Taipei, Taiwan January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Yimou Lee/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn 2317.TW reported a 23.7% fall in profit in the last three months of 2019 on Monday as it braces for the impact from the coronavirus pandemic that has hit demand from key customers such as Apple AAPL.O.

Foxconn, which assembles iPhones at factories in China, reported net profit of T$47.76 billion ($1.6 billion), according to Reuters calculations, slightly above an average forecast of T$46.94 billion from 14 analysts compiled by Refinitiv.

The world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer did not given any explanation for the decline from T$62.61 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Foxconn is among manufacturers worldwide grappling with the fallout from coronavirus restrictions that have disrupted supply chains and hurt demand.

Apple, its biggest client, rescinded its outlook for the first quarter of 2020 saying manufacturing in China had taken longer than expected to resume amid travel restrictions and an extended Lunar New Year break.

Foxconn warned this month that revenue would fall more than 15% in businesses including consumer electronics in the first quarter. But it said revenue would recover thereafter as production returns to normal in virus-hit China.

Foxconn reported its biggest monthly drop in revenue in about seven years in February as the outbreak continued to play havoc with its business.

Shares in the company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, have fallen more than 12% this year.

Reporting By Yimou Lee and Meg Shen; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by David Clarke