New figures reported by specialist manufacturing publication Works Management magazine show 64 per cent of business owners within the manufacturing sector believe business will grow in 2013, 12 per cent of those anticipating growth of over 10 per cent.
This positive outlook is fuelled by strong industry performance over the past twelve months, a year in which 60 per cent of those surveyed saw revenue growth. Looking forward, many small and medium sized business owners also foresee growing export opportunities on the horizon, particularly to Asia and the US.
"Around 85 per cent of our business is export so we're looking to break new international markets," affirms SME manufacturer Jonathan Eddy, CEO of B Hepworth Ltd, adding, "We believe there will be steady growth."
Amongst other factors, it is hoped that the anticipated return to form of the manufacturing industry may therefore lead to GDP growth of around 1.4 per cent in 2013. Initiatives to boost the performance of the UK manufacturing sector, and in turn the economy as a whole, therefore remain vital.
"Manufacturing is so important," enthuses John Nollett, MD of Pailton Engineering. "If you are producing goods and exporting goods it is great for the GDP, job creation and wealth creation."
Experts are keen to point out, however, that French and German SME firms still retain their advantage over British counterparts when it comes to targeting emerging economies. Moreover, though many businesses see investment as crucial in 2013, over half say they will raise capital through savings or private backers, due to distrust in the UK banking sector.
Unfortunately, Aldermore research suggests this sentiment is all too common within the SME world, as traditional banks often fail to cater their services to the requirements of individual firms. Aldermore are determined to listen to the needs of SMEs in an effort to shake up the UK banking sector and provide necessary support for British business.
Alongside promised government action, including the increasing success of the Funding for Lending Scheme, Aldermore aims to open the door towards a more successful future for UK manufacturers.
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