Poland Payment Survey: reduced payment delays, but a challenging outlook
The fourth edition of Coface’s survey on payment experiences in Poland was carried out in December 2019 with 300 companies participating in the study. The payment survey investigated businesses’ payment behaviour, which mirrors both the short-term economic situation and the more structural business environment. In 2019, Poland’s GDP growth reached 4.1%, which was admittedly a slowdown after 5.1% recorded in 2018. Coface anticipates GDP growth in Poland to continue to slow, expected at 3.3% in 2020. A favourable macroeconomic environment has created supportive conditions for businesses in previous years. However, the extent of the COVID19 outbreak knock-on effects remains to be observed, notably on trade partners, and could further impact the economic perspective in Poland. Despite a further slowdown of GDP growth, 50% of companies expected their profitability to rise in the short-term (10% of companies expected their profitability to remain at the current level) in the survey conducted end 2019. At that time, an improvement in sales was expected in the textile-clothing, automotive, and energy sectors. Conversely, the pharmaceuticals, metals, and construction sectors forecasted lower sales in the coming months. According to the survey, 10 out of the 12 sectors anticipate that the amount of outstanding receivables were likely to decrease in the following months.
Since the textile-clothing and automotive sectors are among the ones that are expected to suffer most from the COVID19 spillover effects at a global level, with significant value chains disruptions as a lot of plants closed in China, epicentre of the international outbreak. Thus, the aforementioned positive perspective anticipated by companies in the survey at the end of last year could be somewhat less important if they had responded to the survey in the current context of a global health crisis.
According to our analysis, sales on credit are made extensively, with all surveyed companies having written terms and conditions for this purpose. 98% of businesses continue to face payment delays. During 2019, outstanding receivables decreased but only slightly. Our study shows that Polish companies experience average payment delays of 57.2 days, i.e. nearly 3 days less than in our previous survey in2018 (in our latest Germany Payment Survey average payment delays reached 35.5 days and in our latest Turkey Payment Survey they equalled 40.7 days for domestic sales and 58.1 days for export sales). The agri-food sector fares the best, with payment delays of “just” 36 days. The biggest improvement in shortening delays was reported by the transport sector (18 days shorter than in 2018). Despite that, transport and construction companies again experienced the longest payment delays, at nearly 122 and 104 days respectively. The highest increase in the payment delay period was recorded by the metals sector (an increase from 53 to 66 days).
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