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Restructuring on cards for 40pc of Irish firms due to pandemic

 

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Rebuild: A construction worker walks past images in the “Positive Space” exhibition of photography in Dublin as the economy reopens. PHOTO: STEPHEN COLLINS

Rebuild: A construction worker walks past images in the “Positive Space” exhibition of photography in Dublin as the economy reopens. PHOTO: STEPHEN COLLINS

Rebuild: A construction worker walks past images in the “Positive Space” exhibition of photography in Dublin as the economy reopens. PHOTO: STEPHEN COLLINS

Almost 40pc of Irish businesses are considering some sort of restructuring process as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to batter the economy, according to a survey from accountancy and professional services group Grant Thornton.

And a quarter of Irish businesses expect to see their revenue fall by more than 20pc this year, with 23pc anticipating a decline of less than 20pc, the survey said. About two-fifths expect a decline of less than 20pc.

The survey found that 51pc of businesses surveyed here expect the economic recovery from the pandemic to be U-shaped. An optimistic 25pc expect it to be V-shaped, which would represent the most rapid return to pre-virus normality.

Unsurprisingly, the outlook amongst Irish firms continues to be bleak, with just 39pc of businesses surveyed being optimistic for the country's economy over the next 12 months. That compares to the 78pc that were optimistic this time last year.

"Whilst there has undoubtedly been a decline in revenue and profit expectations, and it will not be an easy year ahead as the economy emerges from lockdown, it is reassuring to see Irish business retains some optimistic outlooks," said Grant Thornton Ireland managing partner Michael McAteer.

The current environment has driven a large spike in economic uncertainty in Ireland with 56pc of Irish firms identifying uncertainty as a business constraint and 39pc currently looking at restructuring their business processes, Grant Thornton found.

The challenges have not deterred some from hunting for merger and acquisition opportunities.

More than a third of Irish businesses believe that the Covid-19 situation will lead to such opportunities, and 27pc of the respondents said they are actively scouting for deals. Another 27pc said they're open to considering deals.

As many companies and staff adapted quickly to working from home, digital transformation of workplaces has accelerated in recent months, according to Grant Thornton Ireland partner and head of technology consulting, Trevor Dunne.

"As the worst of the crisis diminishes, as a business community we will need to examine the successes and the points of failure, and ensure we have robust strategies, continuity plans and technologies in place, to compete effectively and to rely on should such a situation ever arise again," he said.

Almost 69pc of firms have implemented home or remote working, or flexible working.

Irish Independent