Most CFOs expect profits to rise in 2012
MORE than half of Ireland's chief financial officers don't expect Ireland's economic performance to improve in the coming year, but 55pc of them still think their firms will boost their net profits.
The survey of CFOs by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) launched today shows that 35pc of CFOs believe their companies will take on more staff in the coming year.
Most CFOs also think their firms' revenues will rise this year, with 58pc anticipating an increase. Just over one-third -- 35pc -- also expect their capital investment to rise.
Another 85pc of the CFOs surveyed believe access to finance has improved compared to six months ago.
"Businesses will have undergone significant transformation when an upturn emerges," said Paul Tuite, PwC's advisory leader.
"With better business models and a more competitive cost structure, progressive organisations are better placed now than ever before to take advantage of growth opportunities -- and finance functions have a critical role to play," he added.
Meanwhile, the Small Firms' Association has said that labour costs and flexibility remain the most significant problems facing small business.
Detailing the SFA's key priorities for 2012, the organisation's director, Patricia Callan, said that other costs including energy, commercial rates and rents are also exerting "huge pressures" on small firms.
An SFA survey of 2,000 member firms found that 66pc of respondents said that reducing costs is their key priority this year. Accessing working capital is a priority for 27pc.