Nearly half of Singapore SMEs see no growth in sales this year: Survey

The annual survey showed that 47 per cent of SMEs do not expect any turnover growth this year, while 6 per cent will see sales decline.
The annual survey showed that 47 per cent of SMEs do not expect any turnover growth this year, while 6 per cent will see sales decline.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - A significant proportion of Singapore's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are experiencing zero or negative revenue growth, according to a new survey.

The annual SME Development Survey, released on Wednesday, showed that 47 per cent of respondents do not expect any turnover growth this year, while 6 per cent will see sales decline.

The survey, conducted by DP Information Group, also showed a record 68 per cent of SMEs have invested in technology and innovation.

The poll is sent out to more than 10,000 companies every year, with an average response rate of about 30 per cent. This year, a record 2,847 SMEs took part.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, Singapore Business Federation chief executive Ho Meng Kit noted a decline in the proportion of younger SMEs participating in the survey.

Only 10 per cent of companies that responded to the survey are less than 10 years old, compared with 37 per cent in 2012.

Three to 10 years is a critical, "make or break" period for SMEs and the decline might be an area of concern, Mr Ho said.

It might merely indicate that fewer younger SMEs responded to the survey, but could also be a sign that firms are not surviving past this challenging growth stage.