In the course of 2008, the rate of return of leading non-financial companies has deteriorated. It is also more difficult for them to finance their activities.
Lower rate of return
In all quarters of 2008, the return rates of leading non-financial companies were distinctly lower than in 2007. In the fourth quarter, return rates dropped under 9 percent. In the past decade, return rates have only been lower in 2001 and 2002 ((3.4 percent). The extremely high average rate of return in the fourth quarter of 2007 is mainly due to the selling of company divisions like Organon by Akzo Nobel.
Return rates leading companies
Global economic crisis makes borrowing money more difficult
It is increasingly difficult for leading companies to borrow money. Solvency dropped by 1.4 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2008 relative to the same quarter in 2007. What applies to return rates also applies to solvency, i.e. in all quarters of 2008, the rates were below the lowest level in 2007. A low solvency ratio makes it more difficult for a companies to borrow money.
Solvency ratios leading companies
Companies wait longer to pay their bills
Companies wait longer to pay their bills. In the fourth quarter of 2008, suppliers had to wait an average 42.3 days to get paid, three days more than in the fourth quarter of 2007. Postponing payment is largely caused by the poor liquidity position many companies find themselves in.
Term of payment to suppliers
Frank Bonger and Hen Pustgens