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A report which has recently been published by Axa Commercial Lines, reveals that UK Small and Medium Enterprises have a mixed outlook regarding recruitment, profitability and turnover in 2012. The survey was conducted by researchers at Axa, revealing that almost half SMEs are expecting their turnover to increase over the next 12 months.

Although the forecast for the economy is gloomy, with concerns for growth, 43 percent of SMEs believe that their company will experience growth in 2012, with only a sixth of the businesses surveyed expecting their turnover to fall during the next year.

Sole traders have a slightly different outlook, with only 23 percent expecting their turnover to increase in the next 12 months. However, for SMEs who have a workforce between 50 and 99 employees, over 50 percent expect turnover to increase in the next year. According to the managing director of Axa Commercial Lines, Matthew Reed, the future for SMEs is not as gloomy as the media portrays as the situation is far more complex than believed.

Worryingly for Mr Reed, when SMEs were asked to state the main risks which their business faced in the next year, almost 25 percent didn’t recognise a single one. He said:

“I find this quite staggering. In my view it means that brokers have a major role to play in helping their clients to both understand the risks their businesses face during these difficult times as well as manage them.”

Reed further emphasised the need for advice regarding risk management.

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