Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector are planning to invest for future growth, according to new research from specialist lending and savings bank, Aldermore. The new data show SMEs are proactively looking for opportunities to grow over the next five years.
The Aldermore SME Outlook 2016 found that nearly one in three (31 per cent) of businesses surveyed in the manufacturing sector intend to hire more staff over the next five years to foster growth, while 45 per cent plan to invest in new assets such as machinery to increase productivity.
Furthermore, nearly one in five (19 per cent) SMEs in the manufacturing sector intend to grow by joining forces with another business either through a merger or acquisition. Only 13 per cent of those questioned claimed that they will not be taking positive action in order to grow their business. With 87 per cent of respondents, the vast majority of small and medium firms in the manufacturing sector are in the growth business and making firm plans to achieve it.
Despite a slowing world economy and increasing uncertainty about the future path of the UK economy, partly due to the upcoming EU referendum, the results show that SMEs in the manufacturing sector are confident that investing in their businesses is the best way forward to strengthen their position in the market. With a significant proportion of SMEs intending to hire new staff, prospects for the job market in manufacturing look set to remain strong.
Ross McFarlane, Aldermore’s director of invoice finance, said: “It’s clear that SMEs in the manufacturing sector are being proactive and have strong plans in place to grow their business over the next five years. Not only are they intending to promote their business through increased marketing activity but they are also taking steps to launch new products and hire new staff.
“Whether this is despite of or in reaction to the upcoming uncertainty brought on by the EU referendum is difficult to gauge. However, what is clear is that, these steps will serve to increase the ability of SMEs in manufacturing to continue driving economic growth in their local economies and throughout the wider UK economy.”