UK aerospace firms lose an estimated £867m to lack of finance

Economy & Politics | Funding | Manufacturing | National

UK mid-sized aerospace manufacturers could be missing out on £867m in revenues due to insufficient access to finance.

Research published today by Wyelands Bank into UK aerospace manufacturers with turnover from £10m to £300m shows that nearly of all firms (94%) are held back because of a lack of finance.

Difficulties raising finance to support their growth have stopped them from winning new contracts.

Respondents said the difficulties raising finance meant they had missed out on an average of £17.7 million in revenues and an average of 37 new contracts.

These figures suggest that the 140 mid-sized aerospace manufacturing businesses in the UK have collectively missed out on 1,813 contracts. These would have created 1,394 jobs and some £867m in revenues.

The findings also suggest that difficulties in raising finance prevent 82% of aerospace firms from investing in new equipment or technology. Nearly a third (29%) have also been held back from entering new markets and just over a third (35%) have been prevented from moving to a new site or premises.

When looking at all sectors of mid-sized manufacturers in the UK, the research shows that 89% of firms are held back due to a lack of finance.

According to BDO, the business advisory firm, over the past five years businesses this size have delivered revenue growth of 32% and profit growth of 45%. This compares with FTSE350 companies whose revenues have shrunk by 0.6% and whose profits have fallen by 40% in the same period. Over that time, small-business revenues fell by 2% though profits rose by 6%.

BDO also shows that growth in these firms has created more jobs than large and small businesses combined. In the last year, mid-market firms created 534,900 new jobs compared with 191,000 by small businesses and a loss of 157,000 by the FTSE350.

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