Europe's finance chiefs stay positive despite Brexit woes

 
Hayley Kirton
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June (Source: Getty)

Finance chiefs across Europe are worried about Brexit, but remain confident their business has what it takes to make it through the uncertainty, research published today has found.

While two-thirds (67 per cent) of those surveyed by Deloitte felt there was a high degree of financial and economic uncertainty facing their business at the moment, a similar proportion (65 per cent) believe their company's revenues will grow over the course of the next 12 months.

Around a quarter (26 per cent) also said they felt more optimistic about the financial future of their company now than they did three to six months ago.

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Meanwhile, around a third (37 per cent) of financial chiefs feel the impending Brexit negotiations will have a negative impact on their business, while half (50 per cent) think there will be no impact at all and five per cent are anticipating a positive impact.

"Despite a challenging business environment, CFOs are confident that their business can cope and grow revenues over the next 12 months," said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte UK. "In part this is down to businesses becoming more accustomed to uncertainty and more used to managing it."

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David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive at Deloitte UK, added:

Businesses across Europe have contended with a number of political shocks over the summer, reflected in high levels of uncertainty...However, Brexit is not Europe’s only concern. Political uncertainties of varying degrees, from Spain to Turkey, upcoming elections in France and Germany and now, of course, the outcome of the US elections, weigh on the minds of business leaders.

Amid the uncertainty, finance leaders' appetite for risk has shrunk, as just a quarter (28 per cent) of those asked believe now is a good time for taking more risk onto their balance sheets.

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Meanwhile, only a third (32 per cent) said their firm was likely to shell out more on capital expenditure over the coming year, and the same percentage said they were planning to increase staff numbers over the next 12 months.

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