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Survey: firms looking abroad see more growth.

America's fastest growing companies that market their products and services internationally anticipate higher 1992 growth rates than companies concentrating only on domestic markets, according to Coopers & Lybrand's latest "Trendsetter Barometers" survey.

Globally focused CEOs say they expect growth rates of 26.4 percent over the next 12 months, compared to 22.5 percent for firms that are not selling internationally -- a difference of 17 percent, the survey reveals. Currently, 43 percent of growth companies surveyed are selling abroad and another 5 percent plan to enter international markets within one year, according to "Trendsetter Barometer." Over the next 12 months the international revenues of these companies are expected to grow from 12 percent to more than 17 percent of total sales.

Exporters tend to be larger in size than their non-exporting competitors -- with median revenues of $6 million and an average of 76 employees compared to median revenues of $5 million and an average of 57 employees for the non-exporters. Involvement in international marketing seems to grow by company size: by the time growth companies have 100 or more employees, a majority (55 percent) are already selling abroad.

According to Ken Alwyn, a Coopers & Lybrand Emerging Business Services partner in the San Francisco office: "In general, larger companies grow at a slower rate than smaller organizations. So it is especially noteworthy that companies with international operations, which tend to be larger, are expecting to grow more quickly than domestic firms, which tend to be smaller. These findings imply that international marketing is the key to higher growth."

Almost three of four (74 percent) growth companies now selling abroad initiated international expansion on their own, "Trendsetter Barometer" reveals.

Financing expansion into international markets is also a do-it-yourself activity, according to Alwyn. More than 90 percent of growth company CEOs say they used working capital for the endeavor; only 7 percent used funding from financial institutions and 2 percent from public sources.

According to the survey, Canada is the most popular country in which to begin expansion: 38 percent of growth companies with international sales started their export operations there and 74 percent will be doing business there over the next 12 months. The European Community represents the next most-popular export market: 34 percent of companies surveyed started there and 71 percent will be going business in the E.C. in the next 12 months. In contrast, only 35 percent expect to do business in Japan in the next year, a level similar to Eastern Europe (31 percent).
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Title Annotation:includes results of Coopers and Lybrand's 'Trendsetter Barometer' survey
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 7, 1992
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