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SME overseas sales growth predicted

Overseas sales for small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) are predicted to total £15 billion over the next 12 months, according to a survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.

The poll of more than 1,000 SMEs found that overseas sales account for 21% of the turnover of existing exporters. This figure is expected to rise to 24% over the next year.

Key findings:

  • 34% of surveyed firms expect to start exporting or increase sales overseas in the next year
  • two thirds of manufacturing SMEs expect to start or increase exports in the next 12 months
  • 48% of IT firms expect to grow internationally
  • 60% of SMEs do not currently export, with 57% believing their products are not suitable.

Mark Robson, regional director of UK Trade and Investment, said the survey findings show the “continued appetite” of SMEs to export.

However, more than three quarters (78%) of SMEs have difficulty accessing government support for exporting, a survey of nearly 2,500 firms by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found.

John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, said:

“Our research shows that, despite best efforts, our members continue to be frustrated in their attempts to expand overseas. It is vital that the UK’s small firms receive the right support, not just their medium-sized or larger counterparts, and that it is maintained for the long term.”

Contact us for help accessing government support schemes for businesses.