Singapore

More Singapore firms expect revenues to fall: Survey

More Singapore businesses are expecting a drop in their revenue and profit margin as the economy slows, with trade tensions being a top concern among them.

These were findings from a survey of over more than 970 respondents, released yesterday by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said in a Facebook post yesterday that ministers from the Finance Ministry will continue to engage businesses, unions and other stakeholders.

Upcoming changes include a raise in retirement and re-employment ages, and the Government will develop a support package for companies, he said.

While companies expect business costs to go up with changes, the SCCCI's annual business survey this year found close to 40 per cent of those polled between May and July foresee a fall in revenue, up from 27 per cent last year.

About 70 per cent of the companies said they are facing the challenge of rising business costs as well, while around 55 per cent forecast a dip in profits this year, said the group's president Roland Ng at its annual SME conference yesterday.

While 60 per cent of the businesses polled indicated they would retain their present employees, 17 per cent said they would cut back on manpower.

"The topmost concerns of the respondents are how to grow their revenue, innovation of products and services, attraction and retention of workers, and how to digitalise their businesses," said Mr Ng.

In his Facebook post, Mr Heng also wrote about reactions to other announcements made during the National Day Rally.

He said he was heartened that many Singaporeans understood how vulnerable the country is to the effects of climate change and was glad that many parents will be able to benefit from the additional pre-school subsidies and increase in post-secondary bursaries.

BUSINESS & FINANCE