(Business in Cameroon) - From XAF11,551 billion in 2016, the turnover of modern businesses operating in Cameroon rose to XAF12,655 billion in 2018. This represents an 8.6% rise within two years despite the economic, security, and political crisis affecting the country. The figures were revealed in the "2018 Directory and demographics of modern businesses" (legal businesses subject to statistical and fiscal declaration) published on March 24, 2021, by the National Institute of Statistics. Also, according to the directory, in 2018, the said businesses’ turnover was up by 4.9%.
The INS explains that during the period under review, 58.1% of the modern businesses were in the "less than XAF15 million turnover" category meaning that each of the businesses in that category recorded a turnover below XAF15 million. Although over half of the modern businesses operating in Cameroon at the time were in that category, it contributed to just 0.6% of the overall turnover.
Meanwhile, 1.3% of the modern businesses operating in the country at the time were in the "over XAF3 billion turnover" category. Nevertheless, they contributed 79.8% of the overall turnover during the period.
65.3% of overall turnover was recorded in the tertiary sector, 32.3% in the secondary sector, and only 2.4% in the primary sector. In the tertiary sector, wholesale and retail trade and vehicle repair were the branches that generated the highest turnover (35.9%). Next came Information and telecommunications activities (9.3%) and financial and insurance activities (7.0%), due to the dynamism observed in some banks. In the secondary sector, the INS reports that three branches generated the most turnover. They are namely the construction (5.2%), oil refining and coking (4.8%), and the beverage industry (3.9%). In the primary sector, agriculture and forestry, as well as logging were the leading activities.
Rising number of formal businesses
According to the INS, the average turnover for all modern businesses is XAF364.8 million. In 23 out of the 42 activity branches covered, that average was exceeded. The said branches are "petroleum refining and coking (XAF201.6 billion), beverage industries (XAF12.7 billion), hydrocarbon and other energy products' extraction (XAF11.3 billion), manufacture of non-metallic mineral products (XAF6.4 billion), cocoa, coffee, tea and sugar industry (XAF 4.8 billion), financial and insurance activities (XAF 2.5 billion), grain and starch products’ processing (XAF2,490 million)."
It adds that between 2017 and 2018, the number of active formal businesses rose by 13.5%, from 30,006 to 34,688 despite the low number of new businesses created during the period (612 companies). This rise is due to the improvement of the physical (for businesses in the portfolio of divisional tax centers) and electronic (for businesses in the portfolio of large and medium-sized enterprises) collection of statistical and fiscal declaration thanks to digitalization.
Let’s note that both the turnover and number of active modern businesses grew during the period under review despite the economic and political crisis in the country. However, only the coming editions will indicate the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on those indicators.
Joseph Roland Djotié