MHA MacIntyre Hudson and Lloyds Bank Plc have launched their much anticipated Manufacturing Survey Report for 2017/18. Our survey highlights that, 65% of respondents have achieved revenue growth this last year, compared with 50% the year before.
Overall attitudes remain positive and demonstrate an upturn in optimism this last 12 months along with continued growth. Over 75% of respondents in London and the South East continue to predict an increase in production over the coming year, with only 3% forecasting a slowdown.
Atul Kariya, Manufacturing Sector Head and Partner at accountants and business advisors, MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said, “This is positive news for the UK manufacturing sector – and for UK industry as a whole. It’s reassuring to see the sector on such a firm footing despite a number of uncertainties and velocity. Businesses must now build on the progress being made in the current market and plan ahead to navigate increasing inflationary pressures and the various obstacles and opportunities presented by Brexit”.
The main challenges identified by respondents were raising the capital investment required for the push towards automation and increased production costs due to raw material price increases and expected wage growth.
Respondents continued to invest in Research and Development (R&D) with over half spending at least 5% of their annual turnover on R&D projects
56% of respondents are anticipating increasing staff numbers in the next 12 months including taking on new apprentices. A common theme from prior years’ was attracting talent with 61% having had difficulty recruiting staff with relevant skills. Both of these figures are typical of the National picture.
The survey also highlights things which businesses are not making the most of, including:
- R&D Tax credits; with only 48% successfully applying for credits and 7% still unaware of the government incentive scheme
- A lack of understanding of the Apprenticeship Levy and therefore the lack of a strategy implementation to make the best use of it
- Only 14% of businesses having accessed government or grant funding in the last year with 62% unsure of the availability of funding to assist their business.
The report itself makes for interesting reading, and you can download a full copy at http://www.macintyrehudson.co.uk/publications/201718-mha-manufacturing-and-engineering-survey-report