Research recently carried out by BDO reveals that the UK’s economic engine (to include mid-sized businesses) grew overseas revenues by 69% over the last five years, significantly outpacing large and small businesses.

The research reveals that medium-sized, private equity-backed and AIM-listed businesses, what BDO refers to as the UK’s economic engine – have grown overseas revenue to £167bn , an increase of 69% over the last five years and 11% in the last year.

In comparison, FTSE 350 and smaller businesses (<£10m turnover) saw a decline in overseas revenue of -17% and -34% respectively during the last five years.

Mid-sized businesses in London took the top spot for international growth in England and Wales, recording an increase of 85% over five years from £28bn to £52bn, followed by those in the North East and North West, which increased overseas revenue by 79% and 76% respectively.

Meanwhile, FTSE 350 businesses based in London witnessed some of the slowest overseas growth, recording a decrease of -35% over five years.

Internationally, some of the top performing sectors include professional services and financial services, growing overseas revenue by 118% and 91% respectively, with technology and media businesses growing 89% over the same five-year period.

The results speak volumes for the mid market’s resilience and appetite for growth. Businesses have been crippled by economic and political uncertainty for the last five years but the dynamism and entrepreneurial mind-set of the UK’s mid-sized businesses – and the people that lead them – has resulted in some impressive international expansion.

This kind of research is the reason we describe the mid-market as the UK’s economic engine – these businesses are driving growth, wealth, employment and opportunity in ways that too often go unnoticed.

Despite only making up approximately 0.75% of all UK registered companies by number, mid-sized businesses account for around one third of UK private sector revenue and employment.

Since 2016, as part of our New Economy campaign, BDO has been calling on the government to place overlooked and undervalued mid-sized businesses at the heart of its policy making.

Paul Eagland is Managing Partner at BDO.

“The results of overseas turnover speak volumes for the mid market’s resilience and appetite for growth. The entrepreneurial mind-set of the UK’s mid-sized businesses has resulted in some impressive international expansion”

Paul Eagland, Managing Partner at BDO

Mid-sized businesses win the race for overseas turnover

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