‘Firms should look for growth in exports’

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Mid-sized businesses are being too conservative in their export ambitions and are not considering key growth markets overseas even though they are aware of the benefits, new research from Lloyds Bank shows.

Three out of five firms (58 per cent), with an annual turnover between £25m and £750m, said that they do not currently export.

Less than one in 10 are looking to do so within the next five years, indicating that over half of mid-sized businesses are still cautious in considering their long-term export strategy.

The research comes as recent indicators have shown that firms are more bullish about the UK economy with business confidence reaching a 22-year high according to the Bank’s recent Business in Britain report in July.

According to the findings, just under a fifth of firms stated that selling overseas is one of their top three business objectives for the next twelve months. This contrasts with two-fifths of firms who are focusing on growing their UK market.

Glenn Bemment, north west area director for Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “Although business confidence has reached a record high, mid-sized firms often appear to be overlook the benefits of exporting. The size of the international opportunity clearly depends on the nature of the sector. However, it also reflects the fact that businesses are focusing their efforts on their UK operations.”