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Australian exporters expecting increase in overseas sales growth

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95 per cent of SME exporters expect their overseas sales to remain the same or grow in the next 12 months, according to new research released by Efic.

The proportion of SMEs that expect their overseas sales to grow in the 12 months has increased by around 10 per cent since February.

The research is the second in a quarterly series conducted by Efic, the last being completed in February 2014, with 856 exporting SMEs being surveyed in June.

This growing optimism is driven by an expected depreciation in the Australian dollar, which makes Australian exports more competitive. Just over a third of respondents (34 per cent) named this as the key reason for their positive expectations for the year ahead.

Other reasons cited for an anticipated growth in export sales included better business conditions and improved demand in existing markets (24 per cent), introduction of new products and services (16 per cent) and an improved sales strategy (13 per cent).

SMEs also continue to be upbeat when it comes to expected profitability. In line with their confidence in increasing export sales, 31 per cent expect the profitability of their international operations to increase in the next year. This is an increase of 6 per cent from the previous quarter.

With conditions expected to be favourable, exports are becoming an increasingly important revenue stream for SMEs. SME exporters reported that export revenue is making up a larger proportion of their overall turnover, which is at 14 per cent in June, compared to 12.7 per cent in February.

Exporters with a turnover of between $20m and $100m expect their overseas revenue to make up 20 per cent of their turnover by this time next year.

In terms of where this revenue is coming from, China, Oceania & New Zealand, and India were named as the most important export markets by Australian SMEs, reflecting no change from the survey in February.

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