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Survey: Economic impact of war in Ukraine

The German economy is not only the fourth-largest economy worldwide, but in particular relies on functioning flows of goods due to its disproportionally high export share. How, and to what extent, are German companies impacted by the war between Russia and the Ukraine, both today and in future?

With our A&O trend barometer, we sought to answer these questions and have asked, in particular in the segment of major companies (annual revenue of more than EUR 500m), 100 executives of the first and second management levels for their evaluation of the situation. The survey primarily focused not only on key performance indicators such as revenue, costs, financing and investments, but also on fundamental questions regarding strategy and forecasts on the further development of the conflict and the EU's economic relationship with Russia.

The survey was conducted in April 2022. Of the 4,200 companies in Germany generating a revenue of more than EUR 500m, 100 companies participated in the survey, among them 50 companies of the manufacturing industry, 25 of the trade industry and 25 of the service industry. 37 percent of the companies interviewed maintain economic relations with Russia and/or Ukraine.

Results:

Major companies appear largely unfazed by the war between Russia and Ukraine

  • Revenue expectations remain positive despite increased costs and interrupted delivery chains
  • Investment activities are being continued; access to financing remains open
  • Companies do not want to turn away from the "energy turnaround" (Energiewende)
  • Majority expects the war to end no earlier than autumn or even 2023
  • One third expects relations with Russia to normalise in ten years at the earliest

The fact that the mood is nevertheless predominantly positive may be an indication that many companies have learned to deal with crises in recent years.

Dr Wolf Bussian, Managing Partner Germany

Revenue expectations remain positive despite increased costs and interrupted delivery chains

Contrary to all expectations, the revenue forecasts of the largest German companies remain positive despite the war in Ukraine: approximately 80% of the companies reported no losses in revenue since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 74% of the decision-makers expect revenues to remain the same or increase in 2022. The companies expecting an increase in revenue predict an average increase of 11%. It is striking that the companies expecting a decrease in revenue quantify a significant decrease of more than one fifth.

It is not expected that the war will end quickly

38% of the executives expect that the conflict will continue for at least one year, only 20% expect that the conflict will end within the next three months.

Far greater time horizons are forecast for relations between the EU and Russia to recover: 34% expect the relationship to normalise no earlier than in ten years. 45% are more optimistic and expect a recovery in the next two to five years.

Only 3% are strongly affected by sanctions – 58% not at all

The prevailing mood, which is currently still positive, is also reflected by 58% of the persons interviewed stating that they are “not at all” affected by the sanctions. Only 3% are “strongly” affected. This confirms not only the selective impact of these sanctions, but also that Russia is a relatively minor trade partner for Germany, accounting for a foreign trade volume of 2.3%.

Access to financing remains open

Executive board members and managing directors also still have a positive outlook as regards the financial markets: 78% do not see any impact on corporate financing. Among companies with an annual revenue of more than one billion euros, even 91% do not see any bottlenecks.

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Executive Summary

Download a PDF overview of the above and further results here.

For more detailed information and analyses of the survey as well as evaluations and legal assessments, we will provide a White Paper in the course of May.

The (legally) secured reliability and resilience of production and supply chains will play a key role in the future.

Dr Astrid Krüger, Partner Corporate/M&A

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Further quotes and evaluations from our experts

Survey: Major German companies appear largely unfazed by Russian conflict