Despite current uncertainty, more than half of London businesses (59 per cent) are planning to export for the first time or enter a new market in the next six months, according to the latest Business Barometer report by Lloyds Bank.
While boosting sales (34 per cent) or profits (33 per cent) are the most popular reasons for doing so, 28 per cent say they have considered exporting due to existing demand from overseas, while 20 per cent cite encouragement from the government as a reason.
Under a quarter (22 per cent) say they don’t currently export and don’t intend to over the next six months.
In contrast, 53 per cent say that they would be confident about exporting for the first time or into a new market in the next six months, compared with 14 per cent that describe themselves as unconfident.
The impact of Brexit continues to divide opinion, with 42 per cent of London businesses expecting it to have a positive impact on business activity, against 22 per cent who expect it to have a negative one and 32 per cent who expect it to have no impact.
However, London businesses are amongst the most optimistic in the UK about Brexit; with the positivity figure of 42 per cent outstripping the UK average of 33 per cent.
Stephen Hand, London area director for Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, said: “It’s encouraging to see that exporting plays an important part in London firms’ growth plans over the next six months.
“The fact that 59 per cent of London businesses are looking to either start up or expand their export operations shows the desire for our region to take advantage of the appetite for our products and services abroad.
“Diversification into overseas markets can reduce exposure to UK business cycles and with the fall in the value of the pound since Brexit making a lot of British exports more attractive overseas I’m certain that there are many opportunities for London exporters to prosper globally with the right support.”
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