Corona crisis continues to burden medium-sized companies

Released on 26.10. 2021

  • The middle class as a whole came through the crisis relatively well. Photo: Sebastian Willnow

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According to the KfW development bank, Germany’s medium-sized companies have so far got through the corona pandemic relatively lightly. However, the crisis is not over yet.

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – After billions in sales losses 2020, the corona crisis is also leaving deep marks in the current year among Germany’s medium-sized companies.

Every third company expects further declines in sales, as a survey by the state development bank KfW shows. According to the information, it would be the first time since the survey by the KfW SME Panel 2003 that revenues would fall two years in a row .

Nevertheless, according to KfW, SMEs as a whole have come through the crisis relatively well so far. “Thanks to their solid equity base built up in the years before and their ability to react quickly and flexibly to the changed requirements of the crisis, the small and medium-sized companies got through the crisis relatively lightly despite the sharp decline in sales,” summarized KfW chief economist Fritzi K√∂hler-Geib.

Business closings, contact bans, hygiene regulations or travel restrictions to contain the pandemic left traces. According to KfW calculations, the turnover of small and medium-sized companies in Germany decreased in total by 277 Billion euros or around 6 percent to 4349 billion euros. According to KfW, the cuts were severe, but manageable compared to the economic and financial crisis 2009. This also applies to employment: The downsizing in SMEs has remained moderate.

Some SMEs even benefited from the crisis by relocating consumption: especially food retailers, drugstores, online retailers, Delivery services, the pharmaceutical industry as well as online services and software companies.

In addition, the crisis made companies with annual sales up to a maximum of 500 Millions of euros inventive: Adjustments to business models and, above all, strong growth in digital sales channels have often proven to be a lifeline and, according to the observation of KfW economists, prevented worse.

The crisis is not over yet: Every third medium-sized company (36 percent leaves According to the KfW survey, it is assuming that its sales in the current year will be below the previous year’s level. On average, these companies expect a decline of around a fifth. 41 Percentage of companies expect stable development, 11 percent assume rising revenues.

Despite the decline in revenues in the past year, the According to the information, small and medium-sized companies are profitable overall. The return on sales – the ratio of profit to sales – was 2020 only slightly decreased compared to the previous year. The development bank attributes this mainly to the state aid in the pandemic.

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