Almost half of them expect to return to pre-COVID profitability by the end of 2021. Eight per cent are already more profitable than they were before the pandemic hit.
However, almost a third of businesses expect it will take until the end of 2022 to claw back ground lost during the pandemic. Just over 10 per cent believe that date will be 2023 and 6 per cent say 2024 or beyond.
Our research found that sustainability and technology are key:
- High-growth companies now make most of their sales online as a result of the pandemic
- 32 per cent of these firms expect technology-based efficiencies to drive their recovery
- 88 per cent plan to invest in digital tools and platforms next year
- 33 per cent have already innovated and introduced new products and services
- 86 per cent of companies think boosting their sustainability performance will help increase sales, while three in four have set environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets
- 90 per cent plan to upskill employees and invest in staff wellbeing
Weathering the storm
Barry O’Byrne, Chief Executive, Global Commercial Banking, HSBC, said: “Companies have proven remarkably resilient in weathering the turmoil brought by COVID-19.
“They face the same storm, but they are not in the same boat. Different sectors face unique challenges and we see this shaping decisions to invest, to embrace technology, and to target future growth.
“What they all recognise is that responsibility, resilience and reputation underpin long-term success. Getting this right is challenging, but the potential commercial and societal benefits are vast.”