Our 2016 survey of Irish CEOs, ‘Now or Never’, conducted after the UK referendum shows that Irish CEOs have mixed views on the impact of Brexit.
The study found that Irish CEOs are more negative about the impact Brexit will have on their business when compared with their global counterparts with over a third (36 percent) anticipating a negative impact on revenue growth versus 19 percent worldwide. However, Brexit will affect different sectors in different ways - reflected in the finding that just over half (52 percent) of Irish CEOs anticipate no impact on revenue growth and one in eight (12 percent) predicting a positive impact on revenues.
Meanwhile, a majority of British CEOs surveyed by KPMG in the UK are assessing the possibility of relocating headquarters or operations outside the UK. Irish CEOs are also divided in their view of the impact that Brexit will have on business confidence in the global economy. Just under a third (32 percent) predict a negative impact, 20 percent think the impact will be somewhat positive and the remainder (48 percent) say that Brexit will have no impact.
According to KPMG Managing Partner Shaun Murphy: "Most CEOs I speak to, whilst concerned, are fairly pragmatic about Brexit because the final outcome remains unclear. The preferred result for Ireland is obviously maximum access to the UK market and minimum disruption to trade and freedom of movement. Our role as business advisors is to work through the implications of various scenarios and see what mitigating actions may be put in place to manage issues or indeed take advantage of opportunities."
Given the aforementioned potential challenges to trade and freedom of movement, it is also no surprise that 48 percent of Irish CEOs predict a negative impact on the complexity of doing business. Furthermore, over half (52 percent) of Irish CEOs expect the impact on access to capital markets to be negative and 44 percent anticipate a negative impact on raising capital. However, sentiment about the impact of Brexit on supply chain and hiring plans is largely positive. Attitudes towards the impact on operating costs are also relatively benign with four in 10 Irish CEOs expecting no impact and 36 percent anticipating a "somewhat" or "significantly" positive impact.
To find out more see our 2016 CEO Outlook Survey at kpmg.ie/CEOoutlook.