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Only 15 per cent of firms are in growth mode - survey

An all-island survey found that 46 per cent half of Irish businesses are currently experiencing contraction, fighting for survival, or are in the process of winding up.
May 21st 2012, 10:07 AM 725 1

JUST 15 PER CENT of Irish businesses are currently in growth mode – with almost half currently experiencing contraction, fighting for survival, or in the process of winding up.

An all-island survey by InterTrade Ireland has found that a only a small minority of businesses were currently experiencing growth in the first quarter of this year.

Sales performance figures were also negative during this period: just 22 per cent of businesses reported an increase in sales, while 37 per cent experienced a decline. However, despite negative net growth, the figures show an improvement compared with the previous three quarters.

More businesses in Northern Ireland (28 per cent) than those in the Republic (20 per cent) reported an increase, although the gap is narrowing.

A third (34 per cent) of firms say they have decreased their prices over the past 3-6 months, while a quarter of those trading cross-border say they have been encouraged to explore other markets.

According to the survey, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of businesses do not export their goods and services.

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Rising costs are a major worry – with almost 4 in 10 businesses (38 per cent) citing this issue as a “very large” consideration for their firm, and four-fifths (41 per cent) reporting that a lack of available finance for investments is constraining their plans for growth.

Manufacturing and Business service firms out-performed every other sector in sales increases during the first quarter of 2012.

Read: Enda Kenny welcomes ‘growth summit’ of EU leaders ahead of referendum

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Jennifer Wade

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