It found that the average UK mid-market firm – defined as having revenues between £15m and £800m – is set to grow sales by 6.1 per cent in the next 12 months, compared to 4.8 per cent in Germany, 3.8 per cent in Italy and 3.4 per cent in France.
The UK mid-market expects to create 326,000 jobs over the same period.
Ilaria del Beato, Chief Executive of GE Capital UK, commented: “The success of the mid-market is crucial for the UK economy. Just 1.7% of all businesses provide over one third of private sector GDP, revenues and employment.
“Yet whilst the mid-market is thinking bigger, it still has critical challenges to overcome, particularly as the competition for talent becomes much tougher, more so than regulation, keeping costs down, and access to finance.”
The research found an east-west divide, with businesses in the south-east, London, East Anglia and east midlands outperforming the western regions.
The report also highlighted the strong export performance of these companies. Seven out of 10 said they generate some sales from international markets, although this only accounted for one third of sales. Almost half (48 per cent) expect to expand into international markets in the next three years.
Lord Livingston, the trade minister, said: “This report is very encouraging for the UK and its mid-sized businesses. I’m particularly pleased to see their entrepreneurial attitude to exports, which is critical to growth.”
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