SEB Bank: Expectations of Small and Medium Enterprises Gradually Improving
Based on the data of polling performed by SEB Bank, small and medium enterprises are waiting for year 2013 with moderate optimism. The majority of enterprises expect increase in turnover, one third of them plan product and/or service novelties and nearly one fourth of them consider the new opportunities of workforce attraction. A large number of companies continue to follow the local market orientation and refrain from making investment plans.
According to Virginijus Doveika, Vice President and Head of the Retail Banking Division at SEB Bank, within a two month consultation campaign for small and medium enterprises, the bank specialists managed to collect valuable first–hand information about the forecasts of near future made by such enterprises. “Estimated turnover, export development, novelty offers, investment-related forecast and staff number show moderate growth trends”, says V. Doveika.
The majority of small and medium enterprises (72 per cent) are of the opinion that the annual turnover during the year 2013 will rise more than 5 per cent. Higher than a 15 per cent growth is expected by 16 per cent of companies, every tenth company noted that most probably their turnover will shrink. The greatest increase in turnover (46 per cent) is expected by trade companies, and by every fifth company operating in the industry and energy sector.
Launch of products and/or service novelties to the market in the year 2013 is planned by every third small and medium enterprise, however more than a half of them (56 per cent) do not plan any novelties or innovations related to their activity. The largest number of novelties will be offered by the representatives of trade (41 per cent), industry and energy sectors (15 per cent).
More than one third of small and medium enterprises (36 per cent) have plans of development in the export markets. 14 per cent of companies plan to penetrate the new markets and 22 per cent of them are going to develop in the current markets. Proactive development in the new markets will be observed by enterprises operating in such sectors as trade (34 per cent), industry and energy (17 per cent), and also in the transport (13 per cent) sector. 63 per cent of companies do not plan any export development and give priority to the local market.
Every third company declared about its investment plan for the year 2013, and one third of said companies intend to allocate more than EUR 30 thousand for such purposes, i.e., trade (24 proc.), industry and energy (17 per cent), transport (14 per cent), construction (10 per cent) companies and also farmers (8 per cent). One third of companies have plans of investing up to EUR 30 thousand, including trade (36 per cent), transport (16 per cent), industry and energy (13 per cent) companies.
23 per cent of small and medium companies at the end of the year 2013 will increase the number of employees, while the remaining number of companies will implement their goals with currently available human resources.
The detailed forecast data provided by small and medium enterprises for the year 2013 was collected during the financial consultation campaign for companies organised by SEB Bank. Within the period of 2 months, nearly 1.2 thousand of meetings were held at the companies all over Lithuania, and about 700 of said companies have filled out the opinion polling forms and specified their plans for coming year.
The goal of this consultation campaign for small and medium enterprises was to assist them in choosing the most suitable financial services and solutions out of a wide rage being offered and to ensure investment continuity, stable working capital and trade development. A SMART car model was selected by SEB Bank as the campaign symbol. The bank’s Client Executives used SMART cars to go to the meetings with the managers of companies and have covered the distance of 23 thousand kilometres.
At present, SEB Bank provides services to 44 thousand of small and medium enterprises.