Yorks firms in bullish mood over prospects for growth

BY far the majority of Yorkshire's entrepreneurs expect their businesses to grow in the coming year, according to the results of the annual Entrepreneurship UK report by business advisory firm, Deloitte.

In a survey of 350 businesses from across the UK, the Yorkshire region showed 90 per cent expecting growth, although slightly fewer anticipate growth in excess of ten per cent.

Here, 46 per cent are happy to predict more significant revenue expansion, compared with 56 per cent nationally.

However, Yorkshire firms are more confident about the ten per cent figure than elsewhere in the UK, with 46 per cent of the region's entrepreneurs forecasting a maximum of ten per cent growth against a national figure of 36 per cent, while just five per cent are projecting a five per cent growth, compared with eight per cent nationally.

Cash generation remains a priority for most, with 46 per cent of businesses across the UK admitting they're working to retain more money as insurance against the tough trading climate, with a fifth admitting they have less in the bank to fall back on than they did a year ago.

"Last year, cost reduction was seen as the quickest and simplest way to bolster tha balance sheet," said head of private companies at the Leeds Deloitte offices, Simon Manning. "It was a priority for entrepreneurs meaning the expansion of their business - the driver of revenue growth - took a back seat.

"However, this year, the vast majority of entrepreneurs are expecting positive growth suggesting that some of this cash will soon be invested in growth strategies."

Meanwhile, the report suggests a cautious approach to overseas investment, with UK companies preferring to use tried-and-tested European and American markets for growth, rather than the more volatile areas such as China, India or Brazil.

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