Optimism of Swiss finance directors is increasing
The mood of the Swiss CFOs improved in the first quarter of 2013: Around 83% of Swiss CFOs do not expect a recession in the next two years and more than 90% expect a stable euro-franc exchange rate. These and other - mostly optimistic - results came from the first 2013 CFO survey by Deloitte in Switzerland.
"The mood is good- for the first time in two years," explains Michael Grampp, chief economist at Deloitte in Switzerland. "Expectations about economic growth held by Swiss finance directors have become significantly more optimistic. They are also more optimistic when looking at the corporate prospects. The revenue expectations for the next 12 months have especially increased.
These are the results of the CFO survey by Deloitte for which the finance directors of 116 Swiss companies were questioned about the current economic and business situation in the first quarter of 2013. Jan-Dominik Remmen explains: “The improved assessment of the CFOs is in line with the recovery of the equity market. Defensive strategies are still important for companies though. At the same time, topics such as organic growth, innovation and expansion of new markets are coming back in focus.”
Fewer recession concerns
The recession concerns of Swiss CFOs fell in the first quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since 2011: around 83% of Swiss finance bosses do not expect a recession in the next two years. In comparison, around 65% of those surveyed at the end of 2011 expressed concern about the possibility of a recession. The fear of a strong franc has also lessened - 90% of CFOs expect a euro/franc exchange rate of 1.20 or higher over the next 12 months.
Higher revenue expectations
The results demonstrated that the CFOs surveyed were more optimistic about their company's prospects: 32% reported an improved financial situation of their company, a good 57% expected revenues to rise over the next 12 months and the CFOs' margin expectations had also increased.
But - as Michael Grampp explained - the improved atmosphere must still be assessed as fragile. It is true that the prospects for investment expenditure and recruitment had recovered when compared with the previous quarter. But cost control remains one of the priority corporate strategies for 83% of the CFOs. One of every two CFOs believes the declining demand from abroad to be a big risk.
About the Deloitte CFO survey
Each quarter Swiss Deloitte conducts a survey of chief financial officers and finance directors in important Swiss companies. 116 CFOs took part in the fifteenth survey which was conducted at the end of the first quarter of 2013. Around 30% of the surveyed CFOs represent listed companies, whereas 70% are CFOs of private companies.
The Deloitte CFO survey is the only one of its kind in Switzerland and is also conducted by Deloitte DTTL in 19 other countries.
About Deloitte in Switzerland
Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance. With approximately 1,100 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of approximately 200,000 employees in more than 150 countries around the world.
Zurich, 23 April 2013
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