Island could benefit as new markets targeted for growth

ISLAND businesses can benefit from a push by global business leaders into new markets, according to Aline Ayotte, HSBC’s head of commercial banking in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

 Aline Ayotte, HSBC’s head of commercial banking in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
Aline Ayotte, HSBC’s head of commercial banking in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Research from the bank, which polled more than 7,350 business decision-makers from 14 global markets, found that businesses were firmly back in growth mode despite concerns about sourcing and logistics, rising inflation and fresh waves of Covid-19 infections.

The majority – 87% – view expanding into new markets as a growth driver for 2022.

Conversely only a quarter of companies have increased their focus on domestic markets since the outbreak of Covid-19, despite lockdowns and challenges with cross-border trade.

Other key findings include 66% of businesses globally being optimistic about growth over the next 12 months, while 90% expected overall sales to grow over the next year.

Only 8% of businesses said they were more pessimistic about their growth prospects than they were 12 months ago.

Revenue growth of more than 10% was projected by 56% of businesses, while on average business leaders predicted revenue growth of an impressive 19% over the next 12 months alone.

Those expecting revenue growth of 30% or more in the next 12 months – 31% of businesses – listed ‘expanding into new markets’ as the top priority to power this growth.

‘Our findings show that global businesses are firmly back in growth mode. Leaders are optimistic in their outlooks for the year ahead, and the majority are targeting high levels of growth set to push them beyond pre-pandemic levels,’ said Ms Ayotte.

‘International expansion sits at the heart of this growth. Businesses have resisted temptations to scale back their operations during the volatility and are increasingly recognising that taking a global view can push their business to new levels.

‘As centres that are naturally outward looking, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man look well placed in this context, both in terms of pursuing their own international growth strategies and in supporting the global ambitions of others too.’

Despite a more positive outlook, the report also found that seven in 10 businesses expected supply chain disruption over the next 12 months.

But supply chain disruption remained of relatively low concern across the majority of global businesses, with only 23% seeing it as a serious threat to growth over the next 12 months.

This compared to the resurgence of Covid-19, identified as a bigger threat to business growth plans – 40% of respondents – or rising inflation levels at 34%.

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