What are the prospects for post-containment recovery for Moroccan companies?


During the lockdown period, nearly 83.4% of all organized businesses said they had stopped their activities. 52.4% have partially reduced their activity, 29.6% totally but temporarily, while 1.3% declared having ceased their activities permanently. This is what emerges from the 2nd HCP survey on the impact of Covid-19 on business activity, which was sent to “L’Opinion” on the night of Tuesday, July 28. This proportion reached nearly 86% among very small enterprises (very small enterprises), 79% for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and 57% among large enterprises (large enterprises).

By sector of activity, the survey shows that the main sectors most affected by this crisis are accommodation and catering with 98% of businesses shut down, the textile and leather industries and the metal and mechanical industries with 99% and 91%, respectively, as well as the construction sector with 93%.

40% of GE have resumed their activity normally

Carried out among 4,400 companies, from July 3 to 15, the survey also shows that 84.6% of companies have resumed their activity after confinement. However, 32.4% believe they have returned to the normal rhythm, a little more than half (52.2%) have done so partially and 15.4% are still stopped.

The resumption of activity at a normal pace concerns 40% of GEs, 35% of SMEs and 31% of VSEs.

By branch, 45% of companies in the chemical and para-chemical industries were able to resume their normal activity, 42% in the textile and leather industries and 47% in trade. This proportion is 18% for accommodation and catering.

For companies that have not yet returned to their normal level of activity, 57% of them estimate that they will reach it at most in 6 months, but 44% think that it would take at least a year.

On the other hand, two-thirds of industrial companies estimate that they can return to their normal pace within a period not exceeding 6 months, while in the service sector, this proportion is 55%.

More layoffs in VSEs and SMEs

Another result of the survey: During the period of confinement, 49.8% of organized companies temporarily reduced their employees and 9.6% of them did so permanently.

By category, the proportion of LEs who have reduced their workforce is 53%. This proportion reaches 62% among SMEs and 58% among very small businesses.

By sector of activity, the proportion of companies having reduced their workforce rose to 73% in construction, 67% in industry and 56% in services.

By branch of activity, 85% of companies in the textile and leather industries as well as 82% of those in the electrical and electronic industries reduced their workforce during the crisis.

At the same time, the said survey shows that only 44% of companies have been able to reinstate their entire workforce, temporarily made redundant, since the confinement was lifted.

By branch of activity, this proportion reaches 64% in the chemical and para-chemical industries, 56% in the textile industries and 41% in the metal and mechanical industries, while a third of accommodation and catering companies would have fully recovered their employees.

Unclaimed jobs are paying the price of the crisis

For the workforce not recovered by more than half of the companies, the survey explains that they “bear the brunt of the health crisis since 56% of companies say they cannot recover this type of profile”.

This proportion is more marked in the construction and industrial sectors with 74% and 67% respectively.

To be able to recover the jobs lost following the health crisis, 71% of business leaders would like a reduction in tax charges and 64% the suspension of social contributions and their support by the State.

The HCP survey also tells us that the return to normal employment levels would take place, for 61% of business leaders, before the end of the year.

By sector, 38% of construction companies do not expect a return to the normal level of employment for a year. This proportion is 34% for companies operating in industry and 41% for the trade sector.

By branch of activity, 45% of companies in the electrical and electronic industries expect a period of at least one year to return to normal cruising speed in terms of employment.

67% of companies will not make the investments planned for 2020

In another aspect, the HCP survey shows that the investments programmed for the year 2020 will not be fully realized for 67% of companies.

In particular, 29% of companies expect a postponement, 17% a cancellation and 21% a reduction. By business category, this proportion reaches 71% among very small businesses, 60% among SMEs and 50% among large companies.

By branch of activity, the proportion of companies declaring to suspend or reduce their investments is 83% in the electrical and electronic industries as well as in accommodation and catering, 75% in the transport and warehousing branches and 68%. % for the construction.

This proportion represents 50% among VSEs, 48% among SMEs and 33% among GEs. By branch of activity, the HCP survey indicates that companies in the electrical and electronic industries, transport and warehousing and accommodation and catering are the ones that suffer the most from a lack of equity, according to 66% respectively, 59% and 57% of the heads of these companies.

13% of highly indebted companies

The survey also shows that the share of companies in debt is 45%. This situation is more marked among large companies where one in two companies is in debt and 20% of them are heavily indebted. By sector of activity, 28% of heavily indebted companies operate in the electrical and electronic industries, 27% in energy and 26% in accommodation and catering.

At the same time, 51.3% of companies believe that they will not be able to resume repaying their debts for a year or more. This finding is general since it is observed in an almost equivalent manner according to the categories of companies as well as according to the sectors of activity.


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