British mid-size businesses’ exports lag European peers’

Posted on 15 Jun 2012 by Chris Flynn

A report on the UK mid-market has revealed export revenues to be lower than France, Germany and Italy.

Only 17% of British mid-market revenues come from outside the EU compared to 30% in Italy, 24% in France and 22% in Germany.

UK mid-sized businesses (MSBs) have also failed to maximise potential growth opportunities in the BRIC nations with only 15% of firms having grown revenue from China in the last five years. This compares to 25% in Germany and 23% in Italy.

The findings come from a GE Capital report on the economic impact of the UK mid-market and were announced yesterday at the Leading from the Middle summit at the Business Design Centre in London.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “Government support is critical because MSBs are our innovators and fundamental components of larger exporters’ supply chains.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable, keynote speaker at the summit, said he was keen to replicate the success of Germany’s famous Mittelstand and said that the government will help MSBs in a number of ways.

He said: “We have launched a mid-sized businesses campaign to provide practical support. We are also complementing this with other assistance such as the advanced manufacturing supply chain fund and helping firms to access non-bank finance.”

The report did highlight a positive trend for employment in MSBs with 26,000 jobs created during the credit crunch, whilst large companies cut almost 692,000 jobs. The 11 million workers in MSBs represent 36% of the entire UK workforce.

It was also found that despite representing 1.37% of UK companies, MSBs contributed to 32% of sector GDP.