Press release: Small & mid-caps optimistic for 2019, despite muted views on UK economic prospects

11th December 2018

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Small & mid-caps remain optimistic about their own prospects in the next 12 months, despite being muted on the UK economic outlook, according to the latest edition of QCA/YouGov Small & Mid-Cap Sentiment Index.

74% of small and mid-size companies expect to increase the number of employees in the next 12 months, and 47% are looking to raise capital in the next 12 months - the highest since March 2016.

This is despite companies’ views on UK economic prospects remaining muted, with mixed views heard on what Brexit means for them. Example quotes from respondent companies include:

  • “Brexit is creating investment uncertainty with our UK-based customers. They are holding back on investment due to lack of transparency of UK Government plans. Our global customers meanwhile view us as a supplier risk for the same reasons.”
  • “We have a significant export business so depreciating sterling should assist, regardless of Brexit impacts. We are seeking to grow also by acquiring companies and Brexit uncertainty may yield some opportunities.”

Another finding is that 67% of companies and 72% of advisors believe the integrity of the AIM market will improve as a result of a key rule change. This new rule requires companies to adopt a recognised corporate governance code from September 2018.

 

Tim Ward, Chief Executive, Quoted Companies Alliance:

"It’s encouraging that small and mid-caps remain resilient and expect to grow despite the uncertainty ahead in 2019. Our companies just seem to want to get on with it; they don’t have the luxury of waiting for Brexit to be resolved.”

“Greater respect for corporate governance by companies on AIM will improve the integrity of the market and ultimately this will make it easier for these companies to raise funds in order to grow. All investors will be better able to assess how companies are being run.”

Oliver Rowe, Director of Reputation Research at YouGov:

“Despite the mood music and broader pessimism about the UK economy, there is a sense that small and mid-caps still feel in control of their own destinies. They say they will be hiring, they will be raising capital and they expect turnover to grow fast. The question is whether Brexit, or indeed any other events, will finally derail their continuing optimism.”

See the full survey results here

- Ends -

 

For more information please contact

The Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA)

Tim Ward, Chief Executive, 02076003745 / 07876454480, tim.ward@theqca.com 

Anthony Robinson, Head of Policy & Communications, 02076003745 / 07456686160

anthony.robinson@theqca.com

YouGov

50 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT

T: +44 (0)207 012 6015

E: press@yougov.com

Registered in England and Wales. Registered company no: 3607311. Main country of operation: United Kingdom

Notes to editors:

The Quoted Companies Alliance is the independent membership organisation that champions the interests of small to mid-size quoted companies.

For more information please visit https://www.theqca.com/.

Methodology

This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members and associates of the QCA. An email was sent to the QCA database, inviting them to take part in the survey and providing a link to it. A link to the survey was also circulated by the QCA to their contacts. The sample definition is "small and mid-cap UK quoted companies and advisory companies". The responding sample is weighted by industry to be representative of small and mid-cap UK quoted companies, as derived from London Stock Exchange data, but the advisory companies are not weighted in any way.

152 interviews were conducted between 30/10/18 and 13/11/18. 105 from small and mid-cap UK quoted companies and 47 from advisory companies.

 

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