July 20, 2016 / 4:41 PM / 3 years ago

Brexit currency effect to have big impact on company results: report

Rates of currencies, including British Pound, are displayed after Brexit referendum on an electronic board at a currency exchange in Warsaw, Poland June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Currency market fluctuations following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union will hurt corporate results in the coming quarters, possibly resulting in a negative impact of as much as $35 billion to $40 billion, according to a report from FIREapps on Wednesday.

FiREapps CEO Wolfgang Koester called Britain’s June 23 decision to exit EU the latest currency crisis, and one that could lead to “significant impacts on the income statements of companies who did not prepare for Brexit.”

“We typically don’t look ahead in our currency impact report, but... It would not surprise us to see record-setting reports of negative impacts totaling as much as $35-40 billion as a result this latest crisis,” he wrote.

For the first quarter of this year, the negative impact of currency fluctuations on North American and European companies that quantified an exchange-rate effect was $20.03 billion, the lowest since the second quarter of 2015, when the impact totaled $19.49 billion.

For just North American companies, the negative first-quarter impact totaled $16.88 billion, compared with $33.94 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015 and the lowest for any quarter since the third quarter of 2014, when the effect was just $4 billion.

A U.S. dollar index .DXY is up 3.8 percent since the Brexit vote, while it fell 4.1 percent in the first quarter this year.

The foreign currency earnings of U.S. multinational companies are worth less in dollars when the dollar is stronger. Also, the robust currency makes U.S. goods and services more expensive overseas.

Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by David Gregorio

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