Over 65% of global firms expect Covid-19 to have a negative impact on revenues in 2020. This is according to the recent Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), providing insight into the views and expectations of more than 10,000 businesses across 29 economies.
Most firms (around 40%) anticipate a decline of less than 20% in revenues, while 1-in-4 expect a greater than 20% fall in revenues. A small number of Irish firms anticipate a positive impact of Covid-19 on their 2020 revenues (16.4%) with a further 19.7% not expecting to see any change at all in their revenue this year and just 23% predicting a revenue decrease of 20% of more.
Whilst there has undoubtedly been a decline in revenue and profit expectations, and it will not be an easy year ahead as the economy emerges from lockdown, Grant Thornton say it is reassuring to see Irish business retains some optimistic outlooks.
Looking ahead to the next 12 months revenue expectations by Irish businesses are slightly higher than the EU average, 33% v. 27% and on par with global at 34%. According to the report, 26% of Irish business are expecting a revenue increase in 2021.
Optimism levels among Irish businesses however have fallen significantly from the same time last year, with only 39% of Irish businesses stating they are optimistic for the outlook of the country’s economy over the next 12 months by comparison to 78% this time last year.
When asked about the market outlook in Ireland for 2021, 25% are expecting to see a ‘V’ shaped recovery in 2021 with 51% prepared to experience a slower ‘U’ shaped recovery.
The current environment has driven a large spike in economic uncertainty in Ireland with 56% of Irish firms identifying uncertainty as a business constraint and 39% currently looking at restructuring their business processes.
When asked about mergers and acquisitions, 36% of Irish businesses believe that the Covid-19 situation will create opportunities in the M&A landscape with 27% actively seeking out such opportunities and another 27% open to considering M&A opportunities that may come along.