Growth prospects among small manufacturing businesses in England are at a 12 month high, according to the latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer. It reveals nearly two thirds (64%) of companies questioned are expecting to increase sales over the next six months.
There was also positive news on recent performance, with almost one half of the 700 firms who responded reporting a rise in sales and 93% either seeking or hanging on to staff.
The appetite for investment has also seen an upturn, with 39% planning to boost spending on new technologies and 48% intending to invest in new machinery and premises.
However, more than half of firms (52%) said their profit margins were poor.
Lorraine Holmes (pictured), area director for MAS in the North and West, said that although most key performance responses measured showed positive improvements, more negative findings, including the poor profit margins, painted a potential picture of unrealistic customer expectations with manufacturers favouring a more pragmatic approach to taking work on.
“An inability to meet design specification and issues with equipment capability were also quoted as possible barriers and this could underline the renewed desire for investment in new machinery and technology,” she added.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.