Vigorous Industrial Boom Supported Profit Growth in 2004. Cash Flow and Equity in Austrian Manufacturing
Our econometric estimates indicate that in 2004 Austrian manufacturing achieved a cash flow to sales ratio of about 9.9 percent, which is only marginally below that of 2003. The high price of oil and the appreciation of the Euro seem to have impeded an improvement in profitability, despite an acceleration of demand growth in 2004. The survey among mainly large firms, conducted by the Austrian Industrialists Federation, confirms that a reduction in the cash flow to sales ratio occurred in 2004. International comparative data are available only until 2002. Austria ranked fourth among eleven European countries. The best performers were Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark, while Italy and Germany ranked last. With regard to the equity ratio, Austrian manufacturing has continuously strengthened its position throughout most of the past decade. In 2002 the equity ratio amounted to 37 percent, which comes close to the European average of 38.6 percent.
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