Strategic opportunities

The CFOs’ more expansive agenda correlates with other observations in the survey, where we note a shift towards more positive and expansive company actions. In the fall 2017 survey, paying down debt is no longer the most preferred alternative assuming a cash surplus situation. Instead there is a clear shift towards investments in Sweden, such as within M&As. Compared to their euro zone peers, Swedish CFOs have more positive expectations regarding revenues and operating margins, with only 2 percent foreseeing decreased levels.

Use of excess cash

In the fall 2017 survey, paying down debt is no longer the most preferred alternative. Instead there is a shift towards investment in Sweden, primarily driven by the Financial Services and Consumer Business sectors.

Corporate acquisitions and divestments

It is notable that as many as 90 percent of Swedish CFOs expect M&A activity to remain at its current high levels, or possibly increase even more. The expectation of a further increase is greatest within Life Science and Financial Services, and M&A activities remain a top priority within these sectors.

Key metrics

It is notable that as many as 84 percent of Swedish CFOs expect their revenues to increase, compared to 60 per cent as a euro zone average. Compared to euro zone peers, Swedish CFOs have a more positive view of the trend of operating margins, with only two percent expecting decreased levels, compared to 19 percent as a euro zone average.

In congruence with investment willingness observed in the survey, capital expenditure (capex) is the key metric assumed to increase the most.

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