French businesses polled across various sectors acknowledged the value-added benefits of strategic credit management in the current volatile and extremely unpredictable economic environment.
The Atradius Payment Practices Barometer is an annual survey of business-to-business (B2B) payment practices in markets across the world. Its findings can give valuable insights into the current dynamics of corporate payment behaviour in B2B trade. It can also help companies doing business, or planning to do so, in the markets polled to identify emerging future trends in the payment practices of B2B customers.
The 2023 Payment Practices Barometer survey for France was conducted between the end of Q1 and the beginning of Q2 2023. Its findings should therefore be viewed with this in mind.
Key takeaways from the report for France
Businesses explored various avenues for protection against trade credit risk
- The widespread approach to customer credit risk by French companies of relying on in-house retention and management of customer credit risk is most likely a reaction to the steady level of payment delays and bad debts during the past 12 months. These remained almost unchanged, with payment delays affecting 45% of all invoiced sales to B2B customers and bad debts standing at 5% of all sales.
- However, crucial questions remain about the preference for in-house management of customer credit risk, such as whether companies can save enough cash to absorb the hit of a large and unexpected write-off. And is it good practice to have a large cash reserve doing nothing when it could be used in the business?
Stubborn inflation a major worry amid some signs of optimism
- Although inflation will keep easing this year, chiefly due to easing energy inflation, the threat of persistent inflationary pressure is the major concern looking ahead for companies polled in France. This is a particular anxiety for businesses in the food sector where consumers are worried by surging prices.
- Although there was a wide range of concerns the year ahead among French companies, our survey found an overall degree of optimism about business outlook. 70% of businesses polled said they anticipate an increase in demand during the coming months, while significantly fewer companies (48%) told us they expect an increase in profit margins in the year ahead.
Interested in finding out more?
Please download the full report for a complete overview of the 2023 survey findings of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for France.
For a complete overview of the survey results for Western Europe, please download the full report available in the Related documents section below. The Statistical Appendix to the regional report is also available for download in the section below.
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