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GROWTH COMPANY CEOs PLAN MAJOR BUSINESS INVESTMENTS, COOPERS & LYBRAND'S 'TRENDSETTER BAROMETER' FINDS

 NEW YORK, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost six in ten (59 percent) growth company CEOs plan major new capital investments over the next 12 months, up sharply from 53 percent in the second quarter and 51 percent one year ago, according to Coopers & Lybrand's third quarter "Trendsetter Barometer" survey.
 "Trendsetter" companies also say they plan to spend significantly more on these investments: 12.7 percent of revenue, up from 12.2 percent in July, and only 10.1 percent one year ago.
 "Although 'Trendsetter' CEOs tell us they are no more optimistic about the economy than they were in the summer, they have two powerful incentives to make major capital investments now," says George Auxier, national director of Entrepreneurial Advisory Services for Coopers & Lybrand, the international professional services firm. "The first is our current disinflationary economy," he notes. "For example, during the third quarter, prices for high-tech capital goods were an amazing 8.3 percent lower than a year ago.
 "The second incentive is the new 1993 tax law, which increases the amount a business can elect to expense, or fully deduct, when acquiring fixed assets," he adds. "This provides added incentive for companies to purchase equipment or other depreciable property and place it in service before the end of the year."
 The vast majority of "Trendsetter" firms (86 percent) are planning to make an increased investment in their business over the next 12 months. Forty-five percent plan increases for sales promotion; 44 percent, for new product development; 38 percent, for geographic expansion; 39 percent, for information technology; and 33 percent, for research and development.
 "Larger growth companies (those with 100 or more employees) and manufacturing or processing firms are most likely to plan increased spending over the next year," says Auxier. "These planned expenditures are for business acquisitions, new capital equipment, new product development and sales promotion. Many are also restructuring their debt and seeking new capital through private placements and 'angel' investors."
 Approximately 42 percent of "Trendsetter" companies plan to implement one or more joint ventures in the next 12 months, up from 34 percent a year ago. Thirty-one percent report planning to acquire another company in the next 12 months, up from 22 percent during the third quarter of last year. And 19 percent plan to restructure their debt, compared to 12 percent last year.
 Says Auxier, "Although only slightly more than a third of 'Trendsetter' CE0s voice optimism about the overall economy over the next 12 months, they remain opportunistic and expansionist for their own businesses."
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" is developed and compiled by the firm's Entrepreneurial Advisory Services group with assistance from the opinion and economic research firm of Business Science International. At each Coopers & Lybrand office, an Entrepreneurial Advisory services team is available to serve the needs of growing and midsize companies.
 One of the world's leading professional firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides services for enterprises in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 16,000 professionals and staff in offices located in 100 U.S. cities and more than 66,000 people in 120 countries worldwide.
 -0- 12/6/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Graphic art available upon request.
 Coopers & Lybrand's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviewed CEOs of 395 product and service companies identified in the media as the fastest growing U.S. businesses over the last five years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in revenue/sales./
 /CONTACT: Maggie O'Donovan Bolton of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-536-3174/


CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO

GK-JG -- NY035 -- 0705 12/06/93 10:55 EST
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Date:Dec 6, 1993
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