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We asked 42 CFOs in Belgium to weigh in on the effects of the crisis on their organisations, their coping strategies and their plans for a post-COVID-19 world.
The current economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic is rippling throughout businesses across the globe. To gauge its impact on Belgian companies, we’ve launched the PwC CFO Survey Series, consisting of monthly surveys on the effects of the crisis on finance, operations, workforce, supply chains and much more.
The first edition of the PwC CFO Survey Series covers financial resilience. We asked 42 CFOs of large corporates in Belgium across a variety of sectors to weigh in on the effects of the crisis on their organisations, their coping strategies and their plans and predictions for a post-COVID-19 world.
Most survey respondents (79%) expect Belgian economic growth to decline, with 43% predicting it will decline greatly. Of the CFOs we surveyed, 40% estimate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on their overall 2020 financial performance to be high.
They also predict a decrease in their company revenues of less than 10% in the coming six months, as indicated by 43% of respondents, which is lower than the National Bank of Belgium's recent forecasting models of a GDP contraction of 16% for the second quarter of 2020.
Throughout the current COVID-19 outbreak, most respondents (81%) feel very confident that their company has sufficient financial resources to weather the crisis. In the event of a second wave of COVID-19, that number falls to 55%. Among respondents, 83% estimate their business could handle a slowdown of more than a year before being forced to close.
While CFOs are generally optimistic that recovery is ahead, it’s expected to be a long and challenging road. A majority of those surveyed (62%) predict the negative business impacts of the COVID-19 crisis to be felt for one to two years.
With regards to government measures put in place to protect companies throughout the crisis, 43% of CFOs in Belgium say they’ve made use of stimulus initiatives to support their business. Only 17% of those find the measures to be insufficient.
In the future, most companies plan to implement additional measures to become more financially resilient (67%). Examples of such measures include a stronger control over internal cash generation, measures for better access to cash or improving cash flow forecasting to bolster scenario planning capacities.
Want to know more about what Belgian CFOs had to say about effects of the crisis on their organisations, their coping strategies and their plans and predictions for a post-COVID-19 world? Download the full report below.