New industry research has revealed UK SMEs are predicting an average 25 per cent sales growth, with one in three SMEs confident they will expand their teams.

The research, conducted by SME working capital specialist Skipton Business Finance (SBF), collated the perspectives of almost 1000 business leaders from firms across the UK, including in the haulage and transport sector.

SMEs were asked for their predicted sales increase for the new financial year, which came to an average of 25 per cent across the board in each sector.

Alongside this, SMEs were interviewed about whether they were considering hiring more staff, with over a third (35.39 per cent) saying a confident ‘yes’, and a further 43.62 per cent replying ‘possibly’.

“We’re shocked and surprised by these results,” said Ed Carney, head of marketing, Skipton Business Finance.

“When we conducted this research we were expecting to find modest averages of 5-10 per cent, with only one in 10 considering hiring. Instead there was the amazing 25 per cent average and confidence for growth.”

“Over a quarter of the clients we work with are in the haulage and transport sector, so we understand how overwhelming things are looking for the industry right now.”

“But if this survey tells us one thing, it is how the UK’s haulage industry continues to be persistent and resilient, even in uncertain times.”

Hauliers and other SME sectors commented in the survey on the uncertainties of Brexit affecting their business.

“We can all agree this will definitely be a challenging year for us all,” Carney concluded. “But this survey shows business leaders can see a silver lining in these foggy times.”