CIB, GfK survey: Investment focus falls on internal markets

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Managers of Hungarian businesses are consciously planning to focus on and invest in internal markets, while fine-tuning financing strategies in the second half of this year and the beginning of next year, according to representative survey conducted by CIB Bank and GfK published today.

The number of Hungarian businesses that consciously prepare a strategy for the future has increased in the last three years, the survey finds. Some 80% of SMEs with sales of at least HUF 100 mln – but below HUF 10 bln – did so in 2013. This number grew to 86% this year.

The survey found that businesses have clear plans for the given year or 1-2 years ahead. Some 51% of respondents prepare plans for the year in question, while 39% do so for 1-2 years in advance. Some 12% plan more than three years ahead. According to CIB’s experts, this does not differ from the practice of Hungary’s large corporations: Multinational companies do not usually plan for more than three years in advance.

For most Hungarian businesses, flexibility and the conscious and active management and fine-tuning of their strategy are the keys to survival and expansion, the report notes. Some 44% of businesses review their strategy at least once a year, while 14% do so every quarter. Some 55% of respondents noted the changing regulatory environment and the government’s measures as a primary reason for this.

Every second manager participating in the survey said they would do something differently if they could go back in time, and eight out of every ten would be more active in the area of financing, capital investment or technological developments, the survey reveals. The conscious consideration of financing and development matters has always been and will always be a key factor for Hungarian SME managers, the survey notes.

The Hungarian entrepreneurs surveyed would deal more with matters of financing, if they could go back in time. Also, every fifth respondent would pay more attention to matters of capital investment and technology. One-quarter of entrepreneurs believe that they could have been more successful if they had taken better advantage of the grants and subsidies available at the time, the report reveals.

In terms of the future, managers believe that the SME sector still looks promising. The majority, precisely 58%, believe their businesses will be more successful in five years than they are today. Most managers believe more in the development of the internal market: Only 31% anticipate higher export sales, while almost 60% are confident about domestic sales growth, with another 20% believing that sales will remain level.

Another finding of the survey reveals that Hungarian companies show a tendency to base their growth strategy on market positions they have already secured. Some 37% have no plans to change their approach while 30% aim for growth in their existing markets.

“The CIB Stafétabot survey series confirms previous information and presents us with interesting new information every year. This year the key message is that if a business could start over, they would focus more on financing matters. We can thus feel the historical significance of funding issues. For us, this means both considerable responsibility and a significant opportunity: Thinking together with a business, from a banking perspective. We concentrate on businesses and their long-term success and development with the help of our services, by finding real financing solutions”, stressed Richárd Szabados, head of CIB Bank’s SME and Leasing division.

The telephone survey was conducted by GfK for CIB Bank in the summer of 2015 and included a total of 600 managers and owners of companies with sales between HUF 100 mln and HUF 15 bln.

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