According to a new survey carried out by Behaviour and Attitudes for Bibby Financial Services Ireland, nearly half of Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) saw sales increase in the first quarter of this year, while 61% expect sales to continue to rise for the rest of 2014.
The survey also showed that 37% of SMEs experienced stronger trading conditions during the first quarter of the year, compared to the previous quarter.
Despite reporting an increase in sales, however, just 30% of SMEs reported improved profitability. This profitability was found to be stronger amongst the companies that export, compared to non-exporting companies, with nearly half of the exporting companies reporting profits in the first quarter compared to only 26% of non-exporting companies.
Ronan Horgan, Managing Director, Bibby Financial Services Ireland said that given the potential of the SME sector to create and maintain jobs in Ireland, it's encouraging to see tangible evidence of increased trade for the sector, particularly in export markets.
He said, "Economic recovery in the UK and US markets means that Irish businesses have increased opportunity to sell abroad which, looking at the results, is happening. However, the lack of profitability is a cause for concern. Many Irish SMEs are suffering unnecessarily as a result of limited access to finance, bad debts and credit management issues all impacting profitability. Access to credit continues to act as a barrier to growth and job creation for SMEs.”
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson