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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Almost half of Irish SMEs expect fall in turnover post-Brexit

Small companies are being hit by a raft of measures including pension changes, the living wage and business costs (Stock photo)
Small companies are being hit by a raft of measures including pension changes, the living wage and business costs (Stock photo)
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

A survey of Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) members has found that 45pc of members expect to see a fall in turnover, with 44pc expecting no change to their turnover as a result of Brexit.

The survey also found that 11pc of members are considering the relocation of up to half their business to the UK.

The main findings of the survey suggest however that Brexit will not impact most ISME members, with 77pc stating that Brexit will have no effect on staffing levels and 88pc stating that they would not relocate any of their business as a result of Brexit.

Almost 80pc of members surveyed confirmed that they have some level of exposure to sterling on the import/buy side which would suggest an increase in profitability in the short to medium term as the pound weakens against the euro.

However ISME has warned that the results may not represent the broader sectoral impact of Brexit on the SME sector as ISME membership is over-represented in the services sector.

Commenting on the results, ISME CEO Neil McDonnell warned that they came with a “caveat”.

“Around two thirds of ISME members are based in services industries, we believe that the Services, Financial and Insurance sectors on aggregate will have a lower level of direct exposure to Brexit-related impacts than will the Industrial, Construction and Distribution sectors”, he said.

“These results do not give the complete picture of Brexit on the SME sector. The real scale of impacts, direct and indirect, will only truly be known when we see the shape of the agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom”, McDonnell added.

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