PwC's COVID-19 CFO Pulse: New products and services are needed for economic recovery, say 63% of CFOs

18 Jun 2020

Almost 60% of the CFOs are concerned about the possibility of a new wave of infection, but equally make plans for restoring or enhancing revenue streams affected by the crisis, according to the latest edition of PwC's COVID-19 CFO Pulse. So, to rebuild revenue streams, 63% are planning new products or service offerings and emphasizes the key role of innovation in this process.

48% intend to change pricing strategies by increasing or decreasing prices or offering different payment terms and 36% are exploring alternative distribution strategies, such as changing from in-person to virtual sales or delivery.

"Most companies have passed the stage of immediate response to the crisis, understood that the virus will remain a threat for a long time and have begun to adapt their strategies to new market conditions in order to achieve a quick financial recovery. To generate revenue in the changing context of the crisis, companies need services and products that respond to new realities. Therefore, creativity and innovation will be determining factors in the race for relaunching economic activities", said Ionuț Simion, Country Managing Partner of PwC Romania.

The main conclusions of the survey

The main concern for most CFOs (60%) are the effects of a global economic downturn and the possibility of a new wave of infection.

53% of CFOs expect a decrease in revenue and/or profits of up to 25% as a result of the crisis.

More than half of CFOs indicate they will take steps to improve the remote work experience (52%) and to make remote work a permanent option (52%).

Other important findings

Of less concern are issues such as supply chain disruptions (17%) and the ability to effectively manage hybrid remote and on-site work models (16%). This may be attributed to the fact that many companies have proven their capabilities in these areas during the previous weeks and months.

So, if two months ago, nearly half (45%) expected productivity loss because of a lack of remote work capabilities, this time, just 26% of CFOs surveyed anticipate productivity loss in the coming month.

Currently, only 4% of CFOs say the impact of the crisis is still difficult to assess. In this context, cost containment remains the top financial action CFOs are considering as a result of the novel coronavirus, but more than half (56%) of respondents are considering deferring or cancelling planned investments.

The most common area for potential cuts remains facilities/general capex, mentioned by 82% of CFOs, while 47% will reduce operating costs and 40% labor costs.

About the survey

The fifth edition of the Global COVID-19 CFO Pulse survey was published on June 15 and was conducted in the weeks of 1 June and 8 June 2020 among 989 respondents from 23 countries or territories: Central and Southern Africa*, Brazil, Caribbean, China/Hong Kong, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, US and Vietnam.

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We are a network of firms in 158 countries with over 276,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at PwC refers to the PwC network and / or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity.

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Ionuț Simion,
Country Managing Partner 
PwC Romania

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