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Retail CFOs see 3 per cent year-end sales rise

Roy Harris | Oct. 4, 2011
For retail-industry finance chiefs, it's never too early to start thinking about holiday sales --- which traditionally account for at least $1 of every $5 spent in annual retail activity. And in the latest in a series of midyear surveys of CFOs by accounting firm BDO USA LLP, there's some reason to hope for a better year-end in 2011.

Joblessness Ranks First

The survey showed finance execs to be divided in whether strategic buyers or financial buyers would drive M&A activity in the near future, with 52% seeing more strategic deals and 48% seeing more financial ones. The average Ebitda they count on for retail and consumer-product M&A was 6.6%, lower than the 6.8% and 8.2% quoted for 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Retail CFOs confirmed that revenue (38%) and Ebitda (36%) are their primary financial metrics.

As far as concerns about what keeps consumers away, unemployment was cited as the largest worry (57%) with other issues ranging from fuel prices (17%) to consumer credit availability (14%) to housing-market woes (7%) and inflation (5%.)Looking ahead to the end of the year, unemployment was seen by 63% as weighing most heavily on consumer confidence.

BDO says the full report from the CFO survey will be available later this month, when e-commerce, sourcing and inventory data also are released.


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