UK SMEs confident of export growth

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UK SMEs are more confident about export growth with 42 per cent of companies expecting export volumes to grow and 45 per cent expecting them to hold stable, according to the latest survey commissioned by UPS.

Confidence is improving across Europe, the SME Exporting Insights Study 2015 shows, with 90 per cent of SMEs expecting export business to be stable or growing.

The UK has the highest proportion (61 per cent) of SME exporters reporting higher revenues over the last three years, and almost the lowest proportion (11 per cent) reporting lower revenues.

UK SMEs are also the second most likely to use online channels for exporting (70 per cent of companies) – only the Netherlands has a higher proportion of SMEs exporting online (74 per cent).

“Exporting SMEs in Europe are maturing rapidly,” said Cindy Miller, president, UPS Europe. “SMEs in Europe are now primarily concerned about more practical issues, such as the physical safety of shipments, concerns that logistics partners can help solve to reach international markets.”

In the UK, where 1,101 companies were surveyed, 17 per cent of SMEs say that they are already exporting – only German SMEs have a higher tendency to export (18 per cent).

The study found that the UK is highly ‘export positive’ – SMEs in the UK are among the most positive on future prospects, they export to diverse destinations outside of Europe, and they are highly likely to trade online. The UK is the most likely of all countries surveyed to export to the US, and UK SMEs have an above average rate of exporting to Africa, Asia including China, and the Middle East. Exporting SMEs in the UK are also more likely than most others to ship to consumers – only Germany is more consumer-focused.

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