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Nine Entertainment says the COVID-19 impact has begun to affect its earnings. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Nine, BlueScope and more scrap forecasts

Nine Entertainment, BlueScope Steel and more companies have joined the flood of listed firms cancelling their earnings forecasts as coronavirus chaos spreads.

Homewares trader Adairs, meanwhile, has cancelled its interim dividend of 7.0 cents per share, as well as scrapping its guidance.

Media giant Nine said the COVID-19 impact was initially limited but had begun to affect earnings.

"The forward ad market is becoming increasingly difficult to reliably predict," Nine said in a statement to the market today.

It said it was prudent to withdraw its previous profit guidance of flat earnings year-on-year as a result of the uncertainty.

It will still pay its five cent dividend on April 20.

BlueScope Steel said its business has been tracking in line with its expectations as China ramps back up.

But the national shutdown in Malaysia had disrupted business.

Overnight, a number of US car makers said they would suspend production, leading to uncertainty for BlueScope's North Star operations.

BlueScope also said it was prudent to withdraw its guidance of about $302 million in underlying earnings before interest and tax for the second half.

Crown Resorts, which operates the Crown Melbourne and Perth casinos, has further reduced capacity as part of social distancing.

The number of people allowed in food and beverage, banqueting and conference rooms will be limited from 450 to 100.

Bob Johnston, the chief executive of property developer GPT Group, said these were uncertain times for customers and staff.

GPT in February estimated growth of 3.5 per cent in funds from operations per security, and distribution per security, for its full year.

However it has scrapped guidance due to the coronavirus impact.

On Wednesday Aristocrat Leisure, Kathmandu, Ramsay Health Care, Mirvac and others scrapped earnings guidance while troubled theme park operator Ardent Leisure will close its US venues as the COVID-19 pandemic clouds the global economic outlook.

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