More Irish firms pushing up prices and increasing headcount

New survey shows companies are winning more business

Larger companies look to be benefitting most from the economic upturn according to the survey with 69 per cent of those firms canvassed reporting increased business activity

Larger companies look to be benefitting most from the economic upturn according to the survey with 69 per cent of those firms canvassed reporting increased business activity

 

One in five Irish companies have succeeded in pushing through additional price increases in recent months, with a further 70 per cent saying they maintained prices at the same level compared to the second quarter of 2014, a new survey has found.

The latest BDO Optimism Index also shows the number of companies who reduced their prices fell from 17 per cent in the second quarter of 2014 to 9 per cent for the same period this year.

The survey, compiled by Behaviour and Attitudes, is based on recent business results, projected employment levels, profit margins and expectations for the forthcoming year of 350 business owners and managers countrywide.

According to the latest index most companies are firmly focused on the here and now. In fact, just 2 per cent of larger companies said they were focused on planning for the future, suggesting that many firms are still unsure about which way the economy might go.

Nonetheless, the index gives an overall optimism score of 66.8 compared to 63.4 in the first quarter, indicating the highest level of optimism among firms over the preceding five years.

Larger companies look to be benefitting most from the economic upturn according to the survey with 69 per cent of those firms canvassed reporting increased business activity versus the second quarter of last year. In contrast, just 40 per cent of smaller firms reported a rise in activity.

While business might be growing, most of it remains localised with just 12 per cent of companies reporting an increase in export business. While, the study indicates that a focus on export business is not uppermost on the agenda, it also reveals that just under four in ten companies are concerned about a possible ‘Brexit’ highlighting the importance of our nearest trading partner.

More than one in five companies said they increased employee numbers versus the second quarter of 2014 with the most significant growth coming from mid-to-large-sized, which reported an almost 50 per cent rise in recruitment year-on-year.

“The recovery is underway and business optimism is at a five year high, but the figures in the BDO Optimism Index highlight that this is being led by larger companies based in Dublin,” said Michael Costello, managing partner, BDO.

“With the budget coming up it is more important than ever that the Government acts now to put in place the right taxation and investment incentives to help secure sustainable success for all size companies across Ireland,” he added.