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October 27, 2016updated 28 Oct 2016 2:23pm

Businesses vow to keep investing after Brexit shock, says Oracle

Oracle study finds that businesses are pressing on despite the uncertain economic environment.

By Ellie Burns

The Brexit vote caused shock waves across the world, with EMEA businesses looking forward to an unknown future filled with concerns about investment, growth and opportunity.

However, a new Oracle study suggests that despite the uncertain economic environment born from the Brexit vote, businesses are continuing to invest and are chasing opportunity and growth.

According to the study, 41% of organisations admit they did not expect the result of the EU referendum and are now playing catch-up. A similar percentage (46%) say their forward planning has since become more complex, with 44% having now developed multiple contingency plans which they update regularly to ensure their business stays on top of change.

Finance leaders expect to see significant changes to their competitive landscape under these conditions. 50% believe more organizations will struggle, while 59% expect more M&A activity and consolidation.

Oracle Brexit Study

Oracle polled senior finance decision-makers within large companies across EMEA.

However, the study suggests that despite this fallout from Brexit, companies know they cannot afford to wait-out today’s uncertainty if they’re to remain competitive and take market share.

Almost half (46%) say they plan to invest in growth if they see a strong business case, even if they are being more cautious. This compared to 32% that are restricting spending to bare essentials.

Rupert Haines, VP Finance, UK&I at Oracle said: “Uncertainty doesn’t stop market disruption. If anything it opens up new opportunities for strategic movers. Some of today’s most successful companies launched in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, jumping on changes in consumer habits and implementing processes that were agile enough to adapt as they grew.”

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The study also saw the need for CFO’s to step up to the plate, with companies found to be turning to finance leaders to help them identify and pursue opportunities in a post-Brexit market.

52% of finance leaders say post-Brexit uncertainty has put finance in the spotlight and their role now predominantly involves advising their business on achieving its growth goals. Similarly, 53% say their role is more focused on forward planning than ever.

CFOs also recognize that a more uncertain environment demands better planning and greater flexibility. 48% of finance leaders are planning for multiple scenarios simultaneously, and 47% have increased the number of data sources they factor into their modelling.

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