13 Jul 2009

NZ businesses hold up well in recession - survey

3:23 pm on 13 July 2009

Most firms are holding their own in the economic downturn, a survey of 1,400 businesses indicates.

The MYOB Business Monitor, conducted by Colmar Brunton, found that 60% of the companies surveyed reported profitability had stayed the same or improved over the past year.

New Zealand MYOB general manager Julian Smith says the survey, carried out in May and June, looked at firms' actual performance rather than confidence.

He says the survey showed most firms did not have problems getting a loan from their banks, nor did most have difficulty getting paid on time, while 69% said upcoming work has not dropped off.

However, about 60% of the businesses reported pressure from cashflow and fuel prices, he says.

Mr Smith says businesses are "taking care of the basics": knowing who their clients are, invoicing promptly and collecting money promptly, which he says seems to be a good strategy for most firms.

On a regional basis, fewer Canterbury companies reported a fall in revenue compared with their counterparts in Auckland and Wellington, and they were more optimistic that the economy would improve over the coming year.