The latest SME Credit Demand Survey from the Department of Finance, carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes, shows a year-on-year improvement in trading performance among Irish SMEs.

The key results are:

16% of SMEs applied for bank credit (-4%, March 2021).

5% of SMEs applied for non-bank finance.

76% of SMEs reported that sufficient internal funds was the reason for not seeking credit.

45% of all businesses reported increased turnover in the six months up to March 2022 with 18% reporting a decrease. This is a significant improvement from the low levels recorded in March 2021.

All sectors reported an improvement in turnover performance compared to March 2021. The biggest improvement was seen for the Hotel and restaurant (66%) sector.

61% of SMEs reported profit during 2022, compared to 53% in 2021. 10% reported a loss in 2022 while 25% broke even.

Two-thirds of SMEs agree that investing in climate change adaptation is important.

For 38% of SMEs, energy costs were less than 2% of cost of sales, while for 26% the energy costs were between 2-5% of cost of sales. For 9%, energy costs are more than 10% of cost of sales.

Electricity costs are a significant proportion of total energy costs. 35% of SMEs have committed funds to invest in energy efficiency over the next year