Lebanon Businessnews News

Number of firms reporting
sales growth rises four times
Average increase in terms of value was 42 percent
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The percentage of firms reporting an increase in sales surged four times in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a survey carried out by InfoPro Research and published in the latest issue of Lebanon Opportunities magazine.

The survey, involving a sample of over 100 medium and large size companies located in Greater Beirut, showed that nearly 36 percent of businesses reported an increase in their sales in 2022 compared to just nine percent of firms in 2021 as per an earlier InfoPro survey.

For the companies reporting an improvement in sales in 2022, the average growth in terms of sales value was 42 percent.

When compared to pre-crisis levels, the ten percent of businesses stating that their sales have increased reported an average growth in terms of sales value of 28 percent.

Mohamed Choucair, Chairman of the Lebanese Economic Organizations said: “This summer season was excellent and has significantly contributed to the growth of sales mainly in the hospitability, industrial, and agricultural sectors as well as retail though the recovery in the retail sector still falls short of expectations.” According to Paul Abi Nasr, member of the board of the Association of Industrialists, tourist spending and more purchases by hospitality businesses such as restaurants have a multiplier effect on the economy at large which has become to witness some recovery.

Nicolas Boukather, Chairman of the Lebanese Business Leaders Association (RDCL), said that the adjustment and dollarization of salaries in the private sector which have improved purchasing power and boosted consumer spending have also contributed to the growth in sales witnessed in some sectors.

The portion of sales made in fresh dollars almost doubled in 2022. Their share in total sales surged from 38 percent in 2021 to 73 percent in 2022, as shown by the InfoPro survey. Abi Nasr said that the dollarization of prices has a positive psychological effect on sellers who are not concerned anymore about the fluctuations of the exchange rate.

Import substitution industries mainly manufacturers of cleaning products and food (such as pasta, and potato chips) are faring better than other industrial sectors and their sales have grown substantially. Hani Bohsali, Chairman of the Syndicate of Food Importers, said that distributors of food products noticed in recent years an improvement in their sales of locally-made products. “Some imported products have also been substituted by local ones which are of good quality. It is also difficult for certain imported products like soft drinks and mineral water to compete with their local counterparts,” he said.

Exports are expected to grow in 2024 as piled-up inventories caused by the Covid-related global slump have declined, according to Abi Nasr. He said that foreign distributors have started to place large orders of Lebanese goods because their inventory levels have dropped. According to Camille Moukarzel, Chairman of the Professional Computer Association (PCA), local information and communications technology (ICT) companies, especially those providing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, are increasingly targeting foreign markets because the local market has become somewhat saturated.

The recovery, however, was not extended to big-ticket sales, such as cars and homes, which are still in a slump. This is due to the credit crunch as such sales need financing especially that purchasing power has declined. Amid these circumstances consumers give priority to more basic and urgent needs, Boukather said.
Date Posted: Jan 19, 2024
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