Increase in confidence as firms look to expansion
ONE in three Irish businesses is targeting expansion in 2011, more than the global average in a rare sign of growing business confidence.
The figure is from a survey of 6,000 businesses around the world by accountancy and advisory firm Grant Thornton.
The survey found that 35pc of Irish business owners plan a merger or acquisition (M&A) in the coming year, compared to 28pc in Europe or 34pc of companies globally. The Irish figure is 6pc up on 2010.
Grant Thornton Corporate Finance Partner Michael Neary said that 2010 saw a steady flow of Irish M&A activity, a sign of growing confidence that has continued into 2011.
"Well-capitalised Irish businesses are looking to expand, either by buying in Ireland or in cross-border deals.''
But according to Mr Neary, the appetite for deals is still limited by lack of access to bank credit.