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Risk appetite and uncertainty levels remain static amongst European CFOs

Monday 25th June, 2018

According to a recent survey from Deloitte, CFOs across Europe remain focused on their company’s growth despite levels of optimism and revenue expectations softening.

Deloitte’s latest European CFO Survey found 63% of CFOs are confident that their firm will increase revenues over the next 12 months, down from 69% six months ago.

CFOs in the UK have the highest reading on perceptions of uncertainty with 86%, while CFOs in Denmark had the lowest with 9%.

34% of European CFOs say now is a good time to take greater risk onto their balance sheets, up from 33% in last autumn’s survey. Just 14% of CFOs in the UK are willing to take on greater risk, the lowest across the 20 countries.

The survey also found 69% of CFOs in Ireland and France say they plan to increase capex, the highest across the 20 countries, compared to a low of 18% in the UK.

42% of CFOs say they plan to increase employee numbers in the next 12 months, up from 38% in Q1. CFOs in Ireland are the most optimistic about employee numbers, with 69% forecasting an increase, while just 15% of CFOs in the UK plan to increase hiring, the lowest.

David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive, Deloitte North West Europe, said: “Despite higher levels of uncertainty and the mood turning from optimistic to normal, Europe’s CFOs remain confident about the future. A growing number now consider this a good time to take on risk, invest and increase headcount."

“However, across Europe, CFOs identify a shortage of skilled labour as a significant risk to their business. With a tightening labour market, companies will need to prepare for fierce competition to attract and retain talent, and focus on the pace of investment in AI, robotics and automation – all job-saving technologies – as part of their plans for the coming 12 months.”

Deloitte collated the results of surveys run by its member firms in 20 European countries for the latest European CFO Survey, giving the views of 1,652 CFOs.

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