SINGAPORE (Feb 4): The number of Chinese companies warning on earnings is turning into a flood, with no industry spared from worsening demand.

Some 440 firms disclosed on Jan 30 — the day before a deadline to do so — that their 2018 financial results deteriorated, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the more than 2,400 mainland-listed firms that have announced preliminary numbers or issued guidance this season, some 373 said they will post a loss, the data shows. About 86% of those were profitable in 2017.

Damage was widespread: Airlines faced soaring fuel costs and a weak renminbi, the equity-market slump hurt brokerages, while China’s economic slowdown and a surge in impairment costs slashed earnings for companies as varied as a bus manufacturer, a maker of refrigerators and an ID-card supplier. Conditions continued to get tougher in January for the smaller firms that form the backbone of the nation’s economy, government figures released on Jan 31 showed.

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