Company growth outlook | CFO Survey | Deloitte Central Europe


Company growth outlook

Central Europe CFO Survey 2020

Key facts

  • Most CFOs expect the number of employees in their companies to remain unchanged (39%) or to increase (36%) during 2020.
  • Expansion through acquisition is set to be a priority for businesses in 2020, with 37% of CFOs putting it at the top of the agenda. 
  • While 60% of CFOs believe that revenues in 2020 will be higher than last year, this is a 6pp decrease since last year.
  • CFOs’ views on their companies’ ability to service debt over the next three years remain largely unchanged, with almost 90% expecting it either to increase or remain the same (91% in 2019).

Financial prospect

When we compare CFOs’ sentiments about their companies’ financial prospects with their attitudes from six months ago, it is clear that CFOs are more pessimistic than they were in the 2019 survey. That said, more CFOs are still optimistic (34%) than pessimistic (25%).


The proportion of CFOs anticipating revenues to increase in 2020 (60%) was 6pp lower than in 2019. There is also a downwards trend in most of the industries we surveyed.

Operating margins

While most CFOs expect operating margins to increase (34%) or stay the same (40%), optimistic expectations have been on a downward trajectory over the last two years (from 42% in 2018 to 38% in 2019 and 34% in 2020).

Capital expenditures

The percentage of CFOs expecting their companies to increase their capital spending in 2020 is little changed since last year (39% in 2020 and 40% in 2019). It is almost the same as the proportion of respondents who expect no change in CAPEX (40%). The share of negative views, meanwhile, grew from 16% in 2019 to 21% in 2020.