Company growth outlook
Central Europe CFO Survey 2019
At least three-quarters of CFOs remain positive or neutral about the financial prospects for their companies, including key indicators such as revenues, operating margins, CAPEX and employment, and the ability to serve companies’ debts. While changes in comparison to 2018 are not significant, there is also a slight but a persistent tendency towards less optimistic expectations in all of these areas.
- While 66% of CFOs believe that revenues in 2019 will be higher than last year, this is a 7p.p. decrease since last year.
- Restructuring is the top strategic priority strategy most commonly selected for 2019, chosen by 17% of companies.
- Appropriate technical knowledge (57%) and work experience (55%) are the two skills that are hardest for companies to find.
Financial prospect for companies
When it comes to their companies’ financial prospects, CFOs are slightly more pessimistic compared with six months ago than they were in the previous survey. There are considerable differences between countries. While 79% of CFOs in Bulgaria expect things to get better for their companies, in neighbouring Romania 40% of CFOs are less optimistic about the future than they were six months ago. It is also worth noting that in Croatia and Slovenia, just 5% and 6% of CFOs respectively are negative about their companies' financial prospects. Similarly, CFOs from different industries have differing assessments of their companies’ financial prospects. The most optimistic are respondents from the Consumer Business and Construction & Real Estate industries.
Gavin Flook talks about CFOs’ perceptions of their own companies’ growth outlook
Most CFOs believe that revenues will be higher in 2019 (66%), but the share that holds this positive view has decreased since last year by 7p.p. A decreasing tendency is also visible in most of the industries, with Manufacturing experiencing the biggest fall in net balance (26 p.p., from 66% in 2018 to 40% in 2019). However, there are two exceptions. The first of these are CFOs from the Energy, Utilities & Mining sector, where there was no change from 2018 (but whose net balance is the lowest of all sectors). Second, there was a 3 p.p. increase in optimistic answers among CFOs from Financial Services. The most optimistic CFOs of all are those from the Consumer Business sector, with 85% expecting rises.
Download the report to find out more about:
- operating margins
- ability to service debts
- aim for the level of gearing
- strategies that are likely to be a priority for business
- the most difficult skills for organisations to find
- how companies address shortages in (skilled) labour