A new UPS survey has found that Europe’s smaller companies are increasingly turning to exporting as a way to grow revenue – but the notable exception is the UK, where export confidence dropped significantly in the months following the June ‘Brexit’ referendum on EU membership.
The UPS European SME Exporting Insights survey draws on the views of more than 12,800 owners and directors of SMEs in eight European countries. The research shows more small business owners are exporting, and reporting above average revenue growth.
In the UK, however, responses were gathered before and after the June UK referendum vote to leave the EU. According to UPS: “The results showed a significant loss of UK SME confidence in exporting by the third quarter. Before the vote, 36% of UK SMEs forecasted an increase in exports, but that fell to 20% after the vote.”
By contrast, in all the markets surveyed companies expecting an increase in exports rose from 26% in the second quarter to 33% in the third quarter.
Commenting on the overall results, Nando Cesarone, President of UPS Europe, said: “In the SME sector, exporters report higher revenue growth and are more confident about future performance.
“The 2016 study shows over half of those small business directors that exported products saw their revenues increase during the last three years. However, only 31% of small business owners that did not export saw an increase.”