A great sense of optimism is diffuse between CFOs across Europe according to Deloitte’s thirteenth edition of the “European CFO Survey: Spring 2021“. More specifically, in every country and sector surveyed more CFOs feel more optimistic about their company’s financial prospects giving a positive net balance that is at its highest level since the beginning of the European CFO Survey series.
It seems to be now the time to leave behind Covid-19 and focus on the post-pandemic reality. According to the survey, almost 55% of the European CFOs surveyed in Spring 2020 answered that they feel more optimistic about the financial prospects of their company while almost 10% of them admitted being less optimistic.
Compared to Autumn 2020 almost 50% of the European CFOs surveyed answered that they feel more optimistic about the financial prospects of their company while almost 22% of them admitted being less optimistic. It is worth mentioning that in Spring 2019, only 22% of the European CFOs surveyed answered that they feel more optimistic about the financial prospects of their company while almost same percentage of them admitted being less optimistic. From the above is obvious that business sentiment in Europe is changing to a more optimistic version.
Even sectors hit hardest by the pandemic expect revenues to increase. Many CFOs estimate that by the end of the year revenues will be better. The 24% of the companies surveyed expect to return to their pre-pandemic level of revenue by the end of the year, while the 43% of businesses reported having already returned to their pre-pandemic level of revenue. Expectations are particularly low in the tourism sector where no one has already returned to pre-pandemic levels and only 15 per cent of the businesses surveyed expect to do so by the end of this year. At the same time, three-quarters of CFOs in the financial sector said that they are already at pre-crisis levels or expect to be by the end of the year.
Nearly 8 in 10 CFOs (74%) of the ICT sector, consider their companies to be already booming. Correspondingly high percentages of optimism for their companies are nurtured by the financial directors of the life sciences and health sector (81%), as well as those of the professional services sector (76%). Also, the CFOs of retail companies confirm the particularly upward trend for their industry, with 66% of them stating that they are in a recovery phase. On the contrary, one in two CFOs in the tourism and travel sector say their companies are still concerned about ensuring their existence.
The rise in optimism is more obvious in countries outside the Eurozone, and this is mainly reflected in the optimistic attitude of CFOs in the United Kingdom, where 78% of respondents – the highest percentage of all countries surveyed – said they feel more optimistic about the future than three months ago.
Finland leads the way to a new era since 83% of the CFOs stated that their businesses are preparing for and shaping the post-pandemic future. The Netherlands follow with 78% of the CFOs stating that their businesses are preparing for and shaping the post-pandemic future. In Belarus and Spain, 75% of the CFOs respectively stated that their businesses are preparing for and shaping the post-pandemic future. Next comes Switzerland (74%) and follows Luxembourg (72%).
Germany and Greece share the same percentage (71%). Next comes Portugal with 67% of CFOs stating that their businesses are preparing for and shaping the post-pandemic future. Austria and Russia also share the same percentage (64%), while the same applies for Norway and Poland (56%). Italy (54%) completes the top 10 European countries where CFOs prepare for the post-pandemic future of their companies.
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