Export Growth Despite Recessionary Pressure

Will Retailers get More Time for VAT Rise?

Will Retailers get More Time for VAT Rise?A significant proportion of small to medium-sized businesses in the UK have reported an increase in the export side of their business, according to new research from leading independent invoice financier Bibby Financial Services.

The study revealed:

  • 41% of businesses have experienced growth in the export side of their business
  • 31% of businesses say that the strengthening of the Euro has had a positive impact on their business
  • The economic downturn has prompted 29% of businesses to refocus their efforts towards international markets

The research, conducted among 200 small and medium-sized firms across a range of sectors, was compiled in order to reveal key findings about how the recession has impacted the UK’s import and export markets.

Worryingly, however:

  • 42% of businesses say that access to finance for UK exporters has diminished
  • 56% of businesses feel that the fluctuating exchange rate is the biggest problem for businesses looking to trade overseas
  • 66% of businesses say that the economic downturn has had a significant or moderate impact on their business.

Late payment is also highlighted as a major factor for UK exporters, with almost a third (33%) of all respondents finding late payment an issue when trading overseas. Interestingly, 55% of these respondents feel that Continental Europe is the significant problem area. This could be down to heavy regulation and differing legal systems.

Andy Meadwell, international trade finance spokesperson for Bibby Financial Services, commented:

“These findings are certainly a positive sign for UK businesses trading overseas, with many overcoming perceived barriers to international trading, such as language barriers, and finding solace in the strong Euro.”

“However, credit control for overseas customers is a huge barrier when trading abroad, with many countries’ payment habits differing from the UK standard. This could have significant impact on their domestic financial commitments, as late payment from international customers can have a detrimental effect on financial liquidity, meaning less money is available to meet creditor payments, pay staff wages and invest in areas such as business development.

Andy concluded:

“Specialist invoice finance facilities can combat the difficulties encountered when liaising with international accounts departments, as the invoice financier takes on the responsibility for chasing and collecting customer payments using in-house, multilingual teams. These facilities not only help businesses keep cash flow healthy and provide the necessary funding for growth, but also enables business owners and managers to get on with what they do best – driving their business forward.”

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