Companies are upbeat about their future sales

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THE region’s business community is upbeat, anticipating a more prosperous 12 months than the last, says professional services company KPMG.

It surveyed businesses in the Solent and Thames regions, and says its results show more than 70 per cent of respondents expect to see both turnover and profitability increase over the next year.

However, the majority said they will not be taking on more staff to cover the increase in business, with 61 per cent saying they expected their workforce to remain the same or decrease.

Will Smith, office senior partner for KPMG in the Solent region, said: ‘It’s great to see so many businesses forecasting growth for the year ahead – what a welcome change from what has seemed like a never-ending flow of gloomy news.

‘This local optimism appears to have its roots in the strong performances achieved by businesses last year, when a high percentage of those surveyed said they’d boosted their turnover and profitability.

‘These strong foundations should give us much more confidence that the growth forecasted will be delivered.’