John Fowler John Fowler Moderator

Deloitte Irish CFO Survey: Recovery Only in 2011

by Erica deVry, Staff Reporter
February 20th, 2010

Erica deVry, Staff Reporter

The Deloitte CFO Quarter 4-2009 survey shows that 78% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) of prominent Irish companies do not think that the Irish economy will recover significantly till 2011. The Q3 survey had noted 69% of companies responding the same way. In the same survey around 52% does not expect their company to recover totally till 2011. This survey is conducted to find the views of the CFOs about the financial market, business trends and also the overall economic outlook. The CFOs have also added that though this will take time, economic recovery is happening gradually which is stabilizing the economy which is experienced through a gradual increase in the ISEQ index and healthy growth in consumer spending.

The Q4 2009 survey also contains the reaction to Budget 2010 and the reactions have been mixed so far. While 85% of CFO’s supported the measures that have been announced to tackle the public sector deficit, only 7% has faith that the measures introduced are the correct courses of action to handle public sector efficiency. With regard to their own organizations, CFOs are more confident about their own companies in the fourth quarter (52%) than in the third quarter (38%).

Shane Mohan, Partner in Deloitte said: “Cautiously optimistic would be an accurate way to describe how CFOs in Ireland are currently feeling. They appear to have acclimatized to the business operating environment and, having dealt with the most urgent challenges such as cost reduction and working capital management, they now see some light at the end of the tunnel. While it may take slightly longer than originally anticipated, they are now beginning tofeel more confident about how they can help position their businesses for growth.”

Around 42% of CFOs believe that improvement in availability of credit from Irish banks will not happen before 2012. 38% of CFOs still foresee risk when it comes to asset valuations which prove that the asset valuation challenges faced by the banks are also being experienced by the companies themselves. While most respondents are confident that the USD/Euro exchange rate is stabilizing, the opinion about the GBP/ Euro exchange rate is divided.

This survey is the second in a series of surveys conducted by Deloitte of CFOs of listed companies, large private companies, and Irish subsidiaries of MNCs. This survey was conducted in December 2009 and early January 2010 to establish the viewpoints of the CFOs.