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NZ SMEs report broader revenue growth, see more jobs: MYOB

NZ SMEs report broader revenue growth, see more jobs, higher wages: MYOB

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand small- and medium-sized businesses reported revenue growth in the past year, and a growing number expect to take on more staff and increase wages, according to an MYOB survey.

About 39 percent of more than 1,000 SMEs surveyed by Colmar Brunton reported increased revenue in the 12 months ended August 31, up from 35 percent six months earlier, and 30 percent in 2012, according to the MYOB Business Monitor. At the same time, fewer firms were registered a drop in sales, with 19 percent reporting a decline in revenue, compared to 21 percent in the March survey.

"What's particularly positive is that growth is no longer confined to just the two largest centres, with the rebuild in Christchurch and the expansion of Auckland no more the only drivers of the economy," MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said in a statement. "This latest MYOB Business Monitor paints a picture of a whole country enjoying solid levels of economic growth."

The business monitor comes less than a week after MYOB's election survey of SMEs found smaller business owners were most dark on a prospective capital gains tax if the Opposition Labour Party wins the Treasury benches after the Sept. 20 vote.

Today's report shows SMEs' biggest concern is the cost of fuel, with 26 percent flagging that as a pressure on their business, followed by interest rates at 21 percent and cash flow at 19 percent.

Still, more SMEs are optimistic about the future, with 38 percent expecting revenue gains in the coming year, 43 percent predicting static sales, and 11 percent forecasting a fall.

That's expected to translate into jobs, with 10 percent of SMEs surveyed planning to raise their full-time staff numbers and 13 percent expected to hire part-timers. Some 20 percent also plan to hike wages in the coming 12 months, according to the survey.

MYOB's Reed said a key part to SMEs' reinvestment will be in technology to improve efficiency, and taking expert advice to take advantage of the country's sustained economic growth.


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