Survey shows improvement on the horizon

August 25, 2009
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Senior executives in the food and beverage industry are optimistic about improved revenue, profitability and a better jobs picture in 2010, according to a recent survey conducted by KPMG LLP, New York.
The survey focused on the food and beverage industry specifically, and found 72 percent of executives said they expect business conditions to improve in 2010 with 72 percent also expecting stronger revenue, and 65 percent expecting improved profitability. However, 48 percent of the food and beverage executives believe the U.S. economy as a whole could take as long as 2011 or later to substantially recover.
Overall, 86 percent of food and beverage executives see an improving jobs picture in their sector in 2010, with 54 percent saying it would be stable and 32 percent saying it would be better than 2009. Nearly half of respondents said they had already instituted headcount reductions and only 22 percent were contemplating further such actions.
“These survey results show a cautiously optimistic outlook from industry execs, even as the underlying volatility in the food and beverage sector — based on companies wrestling with the sting of higher costs, shrinking consumer spending, and working capital constraint — continues to develop,” said KPMG's Patrick Dolan “With the food and beverage industry in the midst of potentially disruptive change — led by accelerating technological, social and economic shifts — the executives surveyed are still upbeat about their future, though much hard work remains.”
The KPMG survey also asked food and beverage executives to indicate if their strategic focus was now on investing for growth or cutting costs. Almost two-thirds said they were investing, while 37 percent said they were still focused on cost cutting.

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