GE points to more pain ahead as cash flow worsensGE points to more pain ahead as cash flow worsens
The logo of U.S. conglomerate General Electric is seen on the company building in Belfort

(Reuters) – General Electric Co’s <GE.N> industrial businesses took a $1 billion hit to cash flow in the first quarter due to the COVID-19 pandemic as overall revenue fell almost 8%, and the company warned the damage would worsen in the next three months.

The Boston-based conglomerate had earlier this month pulled its 2020 forecast, citing uncertainties created by the coronavirus outbreak, but backed its first-quarter industrial free cash flow expectation of near negative $2 billion.

Free cash flow from industrial operations was negative $2.2 billion in the first quarter, missing analysts’ estimates of negative $2.02 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

GE reported adjusted earnings of 5 cents per share, below the average estimate of 8 cents, according to Refinitiv.

Fallout from the pandemic caused revenue to fall 13% in both the aviation and the power divisions. Profit in aviation fell 39% to $1 billion, while the power unit lost $129 million, GE said.

GE said about 20% of planned maintenance work on power plants had been deferred until later in the year, a factor that weighed on revenue and profit.

(Reporting by Rachit Vats and Alwyn Scott; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)