Family firms hit harder than global counterparts
The financial crisis has hit Irish family businesses nearly twice as hard as their international counterparts, a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found.
Almost three-quarters (70pc) of Irish family firms have seen operating profits fall over the past year compared with just a third globally. More than two-thirds (68pc) have seen demand for their products and services fall compared with a third (34pc) globally.
More than half (57pc) have decreased their capital investment compared with just a quarter (25pc) globally. Despite these grim findings, the family firms believed it was better to be in a family structure during such a severe downturn.
PwC said Irish family businesses were looking to the future also. Some 30pc said they were striving for growth in the next year. Almost a quarter (22pc) expected demand for their products and services to increase.
The vast majority (84pc) of Irish respondents believed the key challenge facing their business was current market conditions. Other key challenges were competition, government policy, including regulation, legislation and public spending as well as exchange rates.
The PwC Family Business Survey covered small and mid-sized family companies in 35 countries. Interviews with top executives in 1,606 companies took place in autumn 2010.