Deloitte’s survey checked in with CFOs around Europe for their take on the prospects of their companies as the world emerged from the pandemic.
Chief financial officials across Europe are feeling a little chirpier about the future, according to a new survey from Deloitte.
The CFOs who reviewed the survey said they feel more optimistic than they did a few months ago about their company’s financial prospects for the rest of the year. Many expect to see an increase in revenue by September and to expand their workforces.
The Big 4 firm’s bi-annual survey checked the ground lay of about 1,559 CFOs in 19 European countries, including Ireland.
More than 40pc of respondents said their income returned to or exceeded the pre-Covid level. Last fall, this figure was 23pc. However, many still flagged lingering concerns about sinking back into their respective economies.
For Irish companies, Brexit has had an impact but not more than estimated, meaning companies have prepared accordingly. But the effects of Covid-19 are still being felt.
Many companies have spent the last 14 months reducing costs in the face of the pandemic, but a Deloitte survey found that companies are now preparing to increase capital spending in the coming year. Only 14pc said they were planning a reduction.
It is expected that most of this spending will be on further digitalisation, automation and expansion of other tech infrastructures, the demand of which will rise with lockdowns and remote employment periods.
Daniel Gaffney, partner at Deloitte Ireland, added that CFOs place greater attention on environmental and sustainability factors when considering their investments.
“The combination of the two trends, digital and environmental, means future investment in these areas is likely to be higher than in previous years. Much of the ability of businesses to emerge from the crisis is in a stronger position. depends on their ability to invest wisely – in people as well as in technology, ”Gaffney said.
The survey also found Irish CFOs plan to increase the number of employees next year, but many cited “lack of skilled labor as one of their top three concerns,” Gaffney added.
Elsewhere in Europe, a Deloitte survey found that the earnest trend was more pronounced in economies outside the eurozone. For example, 77pc of CFOs in the UK feel more optimistic than they did three months ago, the highest level across the countries surveyed.
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