Higher revenues and larger workforces are on the way in 2015, according to a survey of more than 800 businesses carried out yesterday.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers carried out its Business Barometer at its annual forum at Dublin’s Convention Centre.

It revealed that almost 90% of business leaders expect revenue growth next year and that 60% of businesses plan to grow their workforce in the coming 12 months.

PwC head of assurance Kevin Egan said the results indicate a shift among many businesses towards a more growth-focused agenda as the economic recovery begins to lift some companies out of a difficult number of years.

“The survey points to growing confidence in Irish business. It is good news that business leaders are confident about growing their workforce. Improving profitability and addressing skills shortages are key priorities for business leaders in 2015,” Mr Egan said.

“As our economy’s recovery gains momentum, we see companies focusing on growing revenues and margins and exploring the opportunities evident in new export markets. They realise that having the right skills to do this is important including adapting existing skills for the digital economy.”

A large percentage of business leaders indicated in the survey even more optimistic viewpoints on the future of their businesses, with 60% anticipating to grow revenues by more than 5% in 2015, while almost a third expect to increase their workforce over the same period,

Speaking at the event, IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan described how the country is now both an attractive destination for foreign direct investment and a strong exporting nation in its own right.

“Ireland is now the fastest growing economy in Europe and major US corporations are choosing Ireland as a location of choice for their global operations. Ireland is now a strong exporting nation, with particularly robust performances in sectors like ICT, med tech, and pharma. Only last week, IDA announced the second-largest pharma investment since the organisation was started with Bristol Myers Squibb putting over $900m (€718m) into a new facility,” Mr Shanahan said.

The results echo those of a separate report launched this week which predicted that two-thirds of firms would take on additional staff next year.

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