The Future of the German Mittelstand 2020
The crisis came as a surprise, but the Mittelstand was not unprepared
The corona pandemic hit the German Mittelstand hard and without warning. It put a sudden stop to years of growth in many industries. The worst falls in sales are expected in tourism, event management, hospitality, the creative industries and car manufacturers.
But there are also a few sectors that are managing to grow in the current crisis. Construction, as well as healthcare and social services, all reported positive growth rates in 2020. And then there are plenty of niche markets that are currently seeing something like a mini-boom. Generally speaking, the collapse in sales is without precedent in post-war Germany, however, and company profits have fallen even faster.
Simulating the performance of key balance sheet figures on the basis of more than 300,000 individual balance sheets for larger Mittelstand companies shows that most companies are still managing to stay profitable thanks to their flexible cost management. On average, these profits are slightly increasing the amount of retained earnings. What the simulations also show is that around 5% of companies will make a loss as a result of covid-19. Extrapolated for the economy as a whole, this represents a good 18,000 companies in the category of €2-50 million in annual sales.