Many firms may not bear COVID-19 invasion, fear business leaders

With the possibility of a continued recession thickening as the spread of the coronavirus hardly dispensing any signs of slowing down drastically, many business leaders think that some companies may not withstand the impact of the pandemic with CEOs in Asia seeing the greatest impact to their revenues, says a survey.

More than half of those surveyed had already encountered negative impacts on their revenues, and far more 82 percent — expect more critical and negative consequences over the next six months, according to the survey by Young Presidents” Organization (YPO), a business leadership network.

Around 84 percent of CEOs in Asia said revenues had already been impacted, followed by CEOs in the Middle East and North Africa (74 percent), and then in Europe (70 percent).

While the entertainment and travel segment has taken the highest hit, the construction sector got least impacted, the results showed.

The findings are based on replies from over 2,750 global business leaders.

“Most expect the slump to last less than a year. 54 percent of global respondents expect their revenues to be the same or better in a year’s time. However, if the respondent was in a more severely impacted region they were more likely to expect a greater than 20 percent decrease in sales over the next 12 months,” Randall Tavierne, Partner and Global Deputy for Growth Markets and Global Assurance at EY (London), wrote in a LinkedIn post while summarising the survey results.

“In Asia, where the impacts were felt earlier, 34 percent of respondents expect a greater than 20 percent decline in sales over the next year while in the US a mere 13 percent did,” Tavierne said.

A leading US public health chief warned that a new wave of coronavirus hitting the US next winter could be “even more difficult” for the country to deal with than the current outbreak as it would coincide with the normal influenza season, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

“There”s a likelihood that the onslaught of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) federal agency, said in a conversation with the Washington Post.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, over 2.5 million people have so far tested positive for COVID-19 globally, while more than 180,000 have died.

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