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The ATC’s January Corona & Brexit Pulse gauges the overall effect of 2020 on business, and UK language service companies’ first impressions of 2021.

Business right now

In the January Pulse, we scoped out the four distinct categories of business performance among language service companies in the UK.

In an even split across the fault line, half of the respondents reported business as usual (30%) or business doing better than expected (20%), and the other half affected but recovering (25%) or still severely affected (25%).

While the overall aspect for the industry is a positive one, it is clear that the impact is felt very differently from one business to the next.

ATC graph

Business effect for the entire 2020

In this January Pulse, we looked back on the entire year 2020 and the combined effect on turnover of the twin plagues of the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty over Brexit.

In line with our Pulse results throughout 2020, the fault lines are again noticeable when looking at the impact on turnover experienced by companies in the past year, compared to the year before.

Exactly 40% of respondents reported no effect or actual growth, and 60% reported a decrease in turnover ranging from 1-9% to 75-90%.

– No effect reported by 17.5%

– +5-9% growth reported by 10%

– +10-25% growth reported by 12.5%

– -1-9% decrease reported by 10%

– -10-24% decrease reported by 27.5%

– -25-49% decrease reported by 12.5%

– -50-74% decreased reported b 5%

– -75-90% decrease reported by 5%

First impressions and expectations for 2021

Despite a new lockdown and the practical implications of doing business outside the EU, the Pulse respondents’ first impressions and expectations for 2021 lean towards positivity.

Nearly half (47.5%) had promising first impressions of 2021, while a further 17.5% found it neither good nor bad. A fifth (20%) found the start of 2021 disappointing.

ATC graph

Individual responses on expectations for business in 2021 talked about hopes for business recovery and survival, of returning to post-COVID-19 levels of work and increasing client confidence.

Although the UK is now firmly outside the EU, there remains much uncertainty around post-Brexit trade and how the changes will affect the language services industry in practice.


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