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CFO Survey: Q3 2013

Achieving sustainable growth?

100% of CFOs see need for precautionary credit line from ESM – Deloitte CFO Survey.

Fear of external EU shock impacting Irish businesses subsides significantly.

7 out 10 CFOs say their business has returned to growth

The findings of the Q3 Deloitte CFO Survey show unanimity (100%) among the CFOs of Ireland’s largest corporates and businesses that the Government should seek a precautionary credit line from the European Stability Mechanism permanent bailout fund once the country has exited the bailout programme.

The finding mirrors a welcoming for the end of the bailout programme, which 52% of CFOs said would have a positive impact on their business. Only 4% of respondents believed that exiting the bailout programme would have a negative impact on their business.

The positive sentiment surrounding the imminent exit from the bailout programme corresponded with a general pick-up in confidence with only 12% of respondents believing that the level of external financial and economic uncertainty facing their businesses was high or very high, dramatically down from 59% in the last quarter.

An improvement in activity was also reported as almost 7 out of 10 CFOs said their business had already returned to growth (68%), with a further 16% expecting it to happen next year. Significantly, over half of CFOs (56%) believe the Irish economy has already returned to growth, with a further 26% expecting it to happen in 2014.

Commenting on the survey findings, Shane Mohan, Partner, Deloitte commented: “Perhaps on the basis that it is better to be safe than sorry, CFOs are unequivocal in their belief that the Government should seek access to precautionary credit funding once we exit the bailout in December. CFOs have spent the last five or six years focusing on how they fund their business so it is no real surprise that they would adopt such an attitude to how the State funds itself.

“As the country nears exit from the bailout programme, there is a general improvement in confidence among our finance officers. The unwinding of the EU crisis, or at least the perception of its unwinding, is having a reassuring impact on sentiment among CFOs and boosting their confidence levels towards both their own businesses and the wider Irish economy.”

The overall improvement in performance is helping companies to deleverage with one in four businesses reporting a reduction in their net debt levels - a net 24% of respondents reported that their gearing levels had fallen over the last 12 months, an improvement from a net 13% from the same time last year.

The trend towards availing of credit from domestic banks continued in the quarter with 54% citing it as the preferred source of credit, up from 50% in Q2 2012 and from 46% in Q4 2012. One in two CFOs, 50%, believe the cost of new credit to be costly.

Ends

For full details of the Deloitte Q3 2013 CFO Survey, please visit www.deloitte.com/ie/cfo-survey.

About the survey
This is the seventeenth in a series of quarterly surveys by Deloitte of Chief Financial Officers of major Irish based companies. The survey was conducted in September and October 2013. The Deloitte CFO Survey is the only survey that seeks to establish the views of CFOs in relation to the financial markets, economic outlook and business trends on a quarterly basis.

Many of the charts in the Deloitte CFO Survey show the results in the form of a net balance. This is the percentage of respondents reporting, for instance, that bank credit is available less the percentage saying bank credit is unavailable.

CFO Survey: Q3 2013

About Deloitte
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/ie/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Deloitte’s 1,200 people in Dublin, Cork and Limerick provide audit, tax, consulting, and corporate finance services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges.

Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

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