BERLIN, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Total profit (EBIT) of Germany's 100 largest listed companies by turnover fell by 19 percent to around 81 billion euros (90.3 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of 2019, according to calculations published by consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) on Friday.
A slight majority of Germany's top companies had recorded a drop in profits while 60 percent also reported a lower profit margin, EY noted. The cumulative profit margin of Germany's top companies fell from 8.2 to 6.4 percent -- the lowest level since 2015.
The collapse in profits was partly due to "one-off effects and high restructuring costs", said Hubert Barth, chairperson of the management board of EY Germany, adding that the minus was "also partly a consequence of weaker global demand and increasing trade barriers."
The highest profit losses had been recorded by companies in the German chemical industry with minus 38 percent, followed by the automotive industry with minus 26 percent, according to EY.
In contrast, telecommunications companies in Germany achieved the highest increases in profits. According to EY, the sector grew profits by almost 7 percent in the first three quarters of 2019.
"Although the automotive industry in particular has had another difficult year", both sales and profit rankings continued to be led by German car companies, EY noted. As in the previous year, Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW remained the companies with the highest turnover in Germany.
With regards to profits, German carmaker Volkswagen was at the top of this ranking, followed by Germany's largest telecommunications company Telekom, technology giant Siemens and car manufacturers BMW and Daimler.