Financial officers expect sales hike

SIX in 10 chief financial officers at Ireland’s top companies expect sales and profits to grow over the next six months, according to the latest Deloitte chief financial officers’ survey.

The quarterly survey of Irish chief financial officers in listed companies, large private companies and the subsidiaries of overseas multi-nationals found that 58% believe their companies’ turnover will grow over the next six months, while 61% are anticipating a corresponding improvement in profitability. Of the chief financial officers surveyed, 41% said their company has already returned to growth, with the balance predominantly anticipating a return to growth in 2011.

However, the upbeat forecast for chief financial officers’ individual companies is in contrast to their opinions on the economy.

“The survey found that Irish CFOs continue to believe that it will take longer for Ireland to return to economic growth. 33% believe that it will be the second half of 2011 before the economy recovers, while a further 22% believe the recovery will not come until the first half of 2012,” the reports authors state.

Deloitte partner Shane Mohan said: “Overall, the message from the survey is that Irish chief financial officers remain broadly confident in the ability of their individual companies to return to growth. Givenongoing concerns around domestic market risks, the improvement in global economies is critical to the success of large corporates. Chief financial officers have also highlighted that availability of credit continues to be an issue.

“Their view is that while NAMA will assist the banks in restoring their credibility, the setting up of the agency and ongoing recapitalisation of the banks is not yet translating into an increase in the availability of credit by domestic banks to Irish businesses, and this is further contributing to uncertainty in the domestic market.”

Some 58% of respondents cited fears of a double dip, deterioration in customer confidence, lack of credit, the impact of Budget 2011, confidence in the Irish economy and interest rates as their most pressing concerns.

One in two companies (52%) are currently hiring, albeit in a selective and focused way. “75% of respondents state the availability of [human] resources is high.”

The survey found 22% have started the reversal of some cost-cutting measures. Respondents disclosed they have already restored working weeks, bonuses, pay levels and recruitment.


Lifestyle

Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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