Canada's senior finance executives predict economic recovery early in 2010



    FEI Canada and Ernst & Young study reveals optimism despite adversity

    TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - The economic downturn is not as bad as some
would think, finds a new study of more than 200 senior financial executives,
conducted by Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF), the
research institute of FEI Canada, and sponsored by Ernst & Young.
    "We expect Canada will experience uneven recovery and growth across the
country," said Ramona Dzinkowski, executive director, CFERF. "Some sectors
have been fairly recession proof, and companies that were able to manage their
cash positions effectively will be better poised for recovery as they are now
able to acquire assets at fire sale prices."
    Released today, the study revealed that a majority of companies will see
revenue either grow or remain unchanged for 2009. The results show companies
across Canada have intensified their focus on cash management, with 75% of
respondents indicating that they are more focused on cash management issues
now than they were at the same time last year. This was true for almost 80% of
private companies and 71% of public companies.
    "Canadian companies need to ensure they're adequately capitalized to
carry out their plans for growth," said Steve Lewis, Partner, Ernst & Young.
"Many respondents said they are focusing on acquiring new customers, making
strategic acquisitions and exploring non-traditional markets. With a solid
balance sheet, they'll be able to move on competitive opportunities like
these."
    While study respondents reported an overall positive outlook for an
expedient economic recovery, not all industries expect to fare evenly.
Manufacturing companies, arguably the hardest hit in the past several months,
were the most optimistic for recovery in 2010.
    "Companies that are cash poor, or have been deeply affected by a slowdown
in consumer demand, may have to wait to experience economic recovery until
2011 and beyond," Dzinkowski said.
    Additional highlights:

    
    -   Freezing executive compensation and deferment of capital investments
        emerged as the key cost management techniques expected to prevail in
        the coming year.

    -   Reducing head-count or implementing salary roll-backs were less
        popular options cited by participants.

    -   One in five companies reported they were going to be reducing working
        capital to manage costs.
    

    The study was conducted in spring 2009 and surveyed a wide range of
Canadian company sizes in a variety of industry sectors. To view full survey
results please visit:
    http://www.feicanada.org/files/CFERF_Downturn_Final.pdf or
http://www.ey.com/publication/vwLUAssets/CFERF/$FILE/CFERF_Downturn_Final.pdf

    About The Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF)

    CFERF is the research institute of Financial Executives International
Canada (FEI Canada), the all-industry professional membership association for
senior financial executives that provides professional development, thought
leadership and advocacy services to its over 2000 members. CFERF's primary
objective is to study emerging financial management issues in Canada with the
aim of increasing the competitive capabilities of Canadian companies across
the country. Further information can be found at www.feicanada.org.

    About Ernst & Young

    Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and
advisory services. Worldwide, our 135,000 people are united by our shared
values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by
helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their
potential. For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Caroline Spivak, Media
Relations, FEI Canada, (416) 371-9740, caroline@profilecoms.com; Amanda
Olliver, Ernst & Young LLP, (416) 943-7121, amanda.olliver@ca.ey.com


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