Software and services sector remains confident


Software and services sector remains confident

Microscope contributor
The software and services (SITS) sector remains confident that the next 12 months are going to be a positive in both profits and staff expansion, reports Linda Endersby.

According to the latest survey by UK private equity firm ECI Partners, the vast majority (84%) of SITS businesses are confident about the prospects of the next 12 months, expecting to see turnover growth of more than 6% while 44% expect to see more 20% rise.

The survey questioned around 250 CEOs across the UK about their expectations and growth strategies for the year ahead and showed a positive trend among UK companies with a turnover of between £10m and £200m. These companies employ more than 7.5 million people accounting for more than a third of UK private sector jobs

Steve Tudge, Managing Director of ECI Partners, commented: "The latest ECI Growth Survey results are dramatic - growing SMEs are positive about the outlook for further growth in profits and employment in the coming year."

The top two drivers for the growth in turnover for SITS CEO's  are market share increase and investment in R&D with a fifth of respondents citing them while international growth will be sought by most CEOs buy increasing international sales.

Tudge added: "ECI has made six new investments over the past twelve months (including investing over £150 million in 4 Software and IT Services companies) and we have found attractive, high growth companies that proved to be remarkably resilient during the downturn"

Despite uncertainty in the wider economy prospects for job creation are also strong with78% of SITS CEOs expecting to recruit and 56% predicting growth in headcount of more than 6%.

Mark Prisk, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, commented: "It's good news that despite a tough few months, nearly three quarters of the SMEs surveyed by ECI are looking to recruit over the next year and half expect to see substantial profit growth in that period. Up and down the country, it is Britain's SMEs that are driving our economic recovery."

The coalition government gets a positive review from CEOs of growth companies and SITS are amongst the most positive, with 54% thinking the changes implemented are very positive or positive.

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