Survey finds that 96% of Irish CEOs are planning expansion over the next year and 84% are confident of revenue growth

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Survey finds that 96% of Irish CEOs are planning expansion over the next year and 84% are confident of revenue growth

Half of Irish companies have a ‘Brexit strategy’ and 60% of those who don’t, plan to develop one

Nine in ten (96%) Irish CEOs are planning to expand over the next 12 months, according to a survey of Irish business leaders issued today by Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland. Furthermore, 84% are confident about their companies’ prospects for revenue growth in the next year.

When it comes to challenges, over a third of businesses cited the availability of skills as the biggest challenge they will face in 2017.

The survey has been issued ahead of the CEO Forum which is jointly hosted by Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland, and is one of Ireland’s principal business conferences. The CEO Forum attracts up to 350 senior Irish business people each year providing a platform for collaborative thinking, knowledge sharing and debate with political and business leaders.

Speaking ahead of the event, Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner, Deloitte said; “Business leaders are optimistic about growth levels over the next 12 months, despite the looming departure of the UK from the EU. 96% of respondents report that they plan to expand their businesses in 2017 and that is really positive and bodes well for the Irish economy, especially in the current economic environment with uncertainties arising from Brexit and the US election outcome. This is a reflection of the confidence and resilience of Irish companies, and that both challenges and opportunities will emerge for Irish companies in a changing marketplace.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland commented; “The survey results reflect that business leaders have ambitious plans for future growth with 73% of CEOs citing Brexit as an opportunity for more Irish companies to export to Europe. Our plan is to consolidate and grow positions in the UK market, while at the same time, accelerate our market-diversification strategy, helping more Irish companies to expand market share in mainland Europe and in other high growth markets. Enterprise Ireland continues to drive the global ambition of Irish business leaders to achieve their full growth potential in international markets.”

Brexit findings
CEOs were also asked about how Irish companies are faring since Brexit and what they expected for the next 12 months. Half (51%) of CEOs said they have a Brexit strategy in place. Of those who don’t, 60% are planning to develop one.

Currency fluctuations tops the list of Brexit related concerns for companies with 44% of CEOs citing it as their main worry. Increased costs are a concern for 23% with attracting talent (14%) and more bureaucracy (15%) also an issue for respondents.

All this said however, three quarters (73%) of Irish CEOs believe that Brexit provides a strong opportunity for more Irish companies to export to Europe.

Alternative finance
When it comes to alternative finance funding, 28% are sourcing alternative funding. However, 73% of Irish business leaders have said they are open to using alternative sources and 68% of respondents plan to seek out alternative funding options in the next three years. 

Speakers at the CEO Forum on include:

  • Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD
  • Roger Fisk, Marketing and Media Strategist and veteran Senior Campaign Staff for Obama 
  • Breege O’Donoghue, Independent NED, C&C Group plc and Shaw and Sons Ltd
  • Aidan Brogan, CEO, Datalex
  • Margot Slattery, Country President, Sodexo Ireland
  • Colm Lyon, CEO and Founder, Fire Financial Services Limited
  • Mark Roden, CEO, Ding
  • Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland
  • John Doddy, Partner, Deloitte

About the Survey

The research involved surveying CEOs attending the CEO Forum.  It was conducted over the past 6 weeks and there were over 120 CEOs who responded.  The respondents included CEOs from a mix of private/public companies which range in size from SMEs to large plcs and MNCs

About Deloitte
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Deloitte has over 2,000 people in Ireland providing audit, tax, consulting, and corporate finance services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges.
Deloitte has more than 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

About Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness.  In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.

Article Published: 24/11/2016