Business revenue declines: Study


A MAJORITY of businesses continued to experience financial decline through to the end of last year with at least 60 per cent not meeting their projected results for the fourth quarter, according to a Business Council of PNG market condition survey.
The results showed that 69 per cent of businesses reported a decline in their 2020 annual revenue compared to the previous year.
The survey showed that close to a year after the announcement of the Government’s stimulus package, 75 per cent of businesses said it was still yet to create a positive impact on businesses, with 59 per cent rating the stimulus package as “not effective at all”. “Consistent with findings from our second quarter survey, a majority of the respondents (75 per cent) say that their company has not benefited from the Government’s economic stimulus package, while 22 per cent say that they are unaware of its details,” BCPNG said.
“This highlights the continuing need for information, awareness, clear terms and guidelines as well as structures to be in place to support the effective implementation of the different stimulus efforts.
“Fifty-nine per cent of the respondents also rate the stimulus package as ‘not effective at all’ citing reasons such as a lack of action and clear direction to implement the stimulus package, lack of positive outcomes that would have come from the stimulus package, and the package not being accessible to SMEs and MSMEs.
“Reduced consumption and market demand remains to be the top challenge that businesses face.
“Aside from financial and productivity challenges, respondents also say that the lack of foreign currency and the inability to get the right skills in-country at the right time remain a business impediment.”
However, the survey showed that despite the continued trend of financial decline, business leaders in PNG were optimistic when it came to their short-term business prospects.
Forty-four per cent expected revenue growth in the next six months while 25 per cent were expecting revenue decline.
“This is a significant improvement from the previous quarter when only nine per cent anticipated revenue growth in the next six months and 74 per cent anticipated revenue decrease,” it said.
“Survey findings show that there are less businesses that reduced their headcount in quarter four for 2020 compared to quarter two.
“Furthermore, 82 per cent of respondents do not intend to reduce their employee headcount in the next three to six months. Seventy per cent of the respondents are now able to operate in the current environment for more than 12 months.
“This is a continuous improvement from Q2 and Q1 when only 51 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively, of the business leaders surveyed were able to operate in the current environment for more than 12 months.
“To boost business recovery, respondents believe that the Government should focus on accelerating resource projects, restoring investor confidence and resolving foreign investment issues, as well as settling debts to the private sector.”

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