CFOs in Cyprus appear more pessimistic about revenues and returning to “business as usual” in a short period of time according to PwC’s latest survey. The results of the third round of the CFO Pulse survey conducted by PwC on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses and the wider economy reveal that 46% of CFOs believe that if COVID-19 were to end today, their company could get back to “business as usual” within three months.
The percentage of CFOs who are more optimistic follows a downward trend as during the first and second round of the survey it amounted to 62% and 52% respectively. To the contrary, the percentage of CFOs who believe that it will take more than a year to return to “business as usual” has increased to 16% compared to 4% in the first and 10% in the second round.
The survey, conducted in a number of countries, is an initiative of the PwC global network. The third and final round took place between 1 and 11 June with the participation of 37 CFOs from Cyprus.
90% of CFOs expect a decrease in their company's revenues and/or profits this year, compared to 83% and 69% during the two previous rounds of the survey. Their top-three concerns with respect to returning to the workplace and operating in a changed business environment include financial impact (81%), a new wave of COVID-19 infections (68%) and impacts of global economic downturn (62%).
In regard to the strategies for rebuilding or enhancing their revenue streams, CFOs in Cyprus view pricing including changes in prices and offering different payment terms (62%) as the most important followed by offering new or enhanced products and services (54%).
Despite challenges, CFOs are very confident in their company’s ability to manage new conditions after returning to work. More specifically, they are very confident in the ability of their organisation to provide a safe working environment (92%), meet customers' safety expectations (89%) and provide clear response and shut-down protocols if cases rose significantly or there was a second wave of infections (68%). They are also very confident in their ability to manage employee well-being and morale (62%), balance the needs of all stakeholders (59%), retain critical talent (54%), build new skills for the future (38%) and identify new revenue opportunities (24%).
PwC's survey shows that CFOs recognize the benefits of technology, with 73% of respondents stating that investments in technology will make their company better in the long run, a percentage that recorded an increase of 21% compared to the previous survey round.
PwC Cyprus CEO Mr Evgenios Evgeniou noted that "The sudden and unpredictable spread of COVID-19 creates intense uncertainty among the business community. However, past experience, teaches us that with agility, collaboration and quick adaptation to new conditions, we can turn challenges into real opportunities for the future."