The Deloitte CFO Survey Q2 2014
Optimism amongst Irish CFOs reaches five year high
Capital expenditure on the rise. Availability of credit from all sources is improving.
Cost and availability of talent is increasingly a key concern. Two out of three CFOs believe employee numbers will increase.
A net 62% of Irish CFOs feel more optimistic about the financial prospects of their company, according to the Deloitte Q2 2014 CFO Survey. This is the highest level of optimism amongst respondent CFOs since the survey began five years ago and is up from a net 50% in the first quarter of this year.
Findings also show that a large majority of CFOs (79%) believe that revenues will increase over the next 12 months. Both capital expenditure and discretionary expenditure are also on the rise – 76% and 33% of CFOs respectively expect these to increase over the coming year.
The Q2 survey findings signal for the first time that a majority of the CFO respondents have indicated an apparent increased appetite for risk. Just under two thirds of CFOs (62%) feel it is a good time to take greater risk onto their company’s balance sheet, compared with 29% in Q2 2013.
CFOs believe that the availability of credit from all sources is improving. For the first time since the survey commenced, a majority of CFOs believe credit to be easily available across domestic and overseas banks, corporate bonds and equity. Most notably there has been a marked improvement in CFOs’ perceptions of availability of credit from overseas banks. A net 33% of respondents now believe credit is easily available from this source, compared to a net 18% who believed it was hard to get in the first quarter of the year.
Commenting on the findings, Shane Mohan, Partner, Deloitte commented: “The positive sentiment expressed by CFOs is in line with the majority of respondents who rated the level of external financial and economic uncertainty facing their business as low or normal. CFOs reported that they are optimistic about their company’s prospects mainly due to external factors – the biggest contributor to driving company performance, aside from industry specific demand, is economic growth both at home and abroad. However, importantly, there was an increase in the number of CFOs that feel internal, company-specific factors are also fuelling increased optimism.”
“Capital expenditure is on the rise, despite the majority of CFOs indicating that no major equity injections are expected and bank borrowings will decrease or stay the same over the next 12 months. This suggests that organisations will invest cash to support growth, a finding backed up by the fact that CFOs continue to cite a preference for investing as opposed to holding cash this quarter. This, coupled with an increased risk appetite, signals a very real shift in the minds of Irish CFOs – they are forging ahead with growth plans.”
Survey results also indicate that the cost and availability of talent is increasingly a key concern and one which is becoming more pronounced for Irish CFOs. Two out of three CFOs surveyed believe employee numbers will increase over the next 12 months. However 70% of CFO respondents believe that talent costs will impede their company’s performance over the next year, while 57% believe talent availability will have a negative impact on performance.
With regards to CFO sentiment on the economic matters, further findings of the survey include:
- 86% of respondents expect the unemployment rate to decrease somewhat over the next twelve months.
- 79% of respondents expect exports to increase over the next 12 months, 75% expect GDP to increase and 72% expect FDI to increase.
- Just over a quarter of respondents, 28%, believe that ECB rates will further decrease.
- Opinion is mixed amongst Irish CFOs in terms of the appropriate adjustment required in Budget 2015. A slight majority, 52%, feel that the Government should go ahead with the proposed €2 billion adjustment.
For full details of the Deloitte Q2 2014 CFO Survey, please visit www.deloitte.com/ie/cfo-survey.
About the survey
This is the twentieth in a series of quarterly surveys by Deloitte of Chief Financial Officers of major Irish based companies. The survey was conducted in June and July 2014. The Deloitte CFO Survey is the only survey that seeks to establish the views of CFOs of listed companies, large private companies and Irish subsidiaries of overseas multinational companies 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.
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