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COVID-19 pandemic affects revenues, sales of more than 55% of companies in Romania

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected revenues and sales in more than 55% of companies operating in Romania, with 39% of them having to temporarily shut down, Andrei Canda, managing partner at iSenseSolutions, said on Wednesday.

"The pandemic has mainly affected the companies' revenues and sales; 55% of them mentioned it in the first place, while in the second place almost 40% needed to temporarily close their activity. However, there is also a niche, 5% of companies that have reported an increase in revenues during the same time," said Canda at a conference where a study on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the digital transformation of the business environment was released.

According to the study, 16% of the respondents mentioned the reduction in the number of employees, and 8% a partial closure of business.

Canda said that 56% of the companies believe the overall economic situation in Romania is unfavourable to the business community, 31% said it is neutral, and for 13% said it is favourable.

He said 8 in 10 companies reported at least one difficulty caused by the pandemic. Thus, 49% mentioned a decrease in demand, 31% the temporarily suspended business, 23% late payments, 21% staff training and retention, and 17% the instability of the local currency, the leu.

As many as 37% of companies said digitalisation is a great opportunity in the current context; 3 in 10 companies believe the number of customers/suppliers will not decrease in 2020. To continue in business, companies have chosen to transfer physical activities online (38%), but some of them have resorted to reducing the number of employees by furloughing (37%).

He mentioned that companies have lately started to be increasingly more present in the digital area, mainly using online and teleworking platforms; 46% of companies consider the digitalisation process is hampered by difficulties of employees in adapting to online technologies and activities. Half of the companies are considering the possibility of digital transformation, as they could gain many advantages as a result of their decision. Corporations (73% versus 53% of the total) tend to support this idea more.

The study was conducted in June 2020 by the research company iSense Solutions, commissioned by UniCredit Bank S.A., which assessed the interest in the digital transformation of Romanian companies, both SMEs and corporations. The representative sample consisted of 303 companies operating in Romania.

At the conference, UniCredit Bank announced the release of an improved version of the Business Mobile application, which gives companies the opportunity to access essential information and operations directly from their phones.

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