Financial directors in Serbia confident about their companies doing good

Directors in Serbia are optimistic about the future of their respective companies, while every second financial director fears that labour costs would grow in the future, according to the latest survey conducted by Deloitte, called “Balancing Optimism with Risk Aversion”.

The findings in the survey represent the opinions of nearly six hundred CFOs based in twelve Central European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine. The survey was conducted between September and November 2017.

Most financial directors from Serbia, or 58 percent of them, are optimistic about the financial perspective of the companies they work in. 27% of them think that the situation will remain unchanged.

The survey also showed that 55 percent of the survey participants expect a decline in unemployment in the coming period. Every other financial director fears that employees’ salaries will grow, as 55 percent expect an increase in labour costs.

Unlike their counterparts in Central Europe, that is, 53 percent of those surveyed, who cited lack of qualified workforce as one of the main problems, financial directors in Serbia listed shortage of qualified workers only as the seventh biggest problem they face.

“Financial managers consider the following as the main risks to the company’s operations – market pressure in terms of price reduction, and insolvency and increased operating costs, despite the positive economic outlook”, Deloitte’s report states. “The key tasks in the coming period point to revenue growth through organic growth, restructuring, reduction of direct costs, as well as investments in research and development”, the report goes on to say.

Directors generally believe that borrowing terms will not change. Exactly 61 percent believe that the cost of capital will not change, but many do plan to borrow further in order to expand their business to other markets and introduce new products and services. Only 9 percent of respondents plan to borrow less. Even 91 percent of the directors think that the tax rates will remain the same, including VAT.

“Similarly to last year, a majority of financial directors are not willing to take more risk onto the balance sheet as they fear external uncertainty at both a country and a company level. 70 percent of financial managers think that this is not a good time to take major risks regarding the company’s balance sheets”, the report says.

(Vecernje Novosti, 24.05.2018)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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