Financial performance at the Top 100 companies shows a positive trend and I would expect to see this translated into a growing confidence.
In my experience, business confidence leads to positive and decisive actions to try and secure success.
A review of this year’s major events involving the Top 100 supports this view, with a number of companies making big decisions with the aim of securing growth.
The most notable sign of growing confidence is the number of businesses on the list who have been involved in acquisitions.
This demonstrates a willingness to invest and take a calculated risk to achieve objectives, and this has certainly been the case with SIG, Servelec and Benchmark who have all made recent acquisitions.
Other companies in the Top 100 have also invested in expanding activities, with the likes of NFT investing £25m in a logistics corridor and Reticel and M J Gleeson opening new facilities.
Other companies have taken advantage of the more positive funding environment to raise finance for their plans.
Significant demonstrations of this include the £73m refinancing of Arnold Laver by HSBC and the £50m funding package provided by Lloyds Bank to Strata homes.
These themes certainly reflect my own experience in the corporate finance market.
We are busier than ever helping an increasingly upbeat Shorts client base.
Their projects include securing development capital from banks and private equity providers, completing acquisitions or assisting owners in selling to trade acquirers, private equity investors or management teams.
We are experiencing a buoyant local mergers and acquisitions market and research shows this is reflected in the UK as a whole, with the number of deals between £500k and £10m in 2015 12 per cent higher than the previous year.
Our experience gives us confidence this is set to continue with current activity levels exceptionally high.