A survey of Irish business leaders issued today by Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland has found that nine in ten (96%) Irish CEOs are planning to expand over the next 12 months.

The survey has been issued ahead of the CEO Forum which is jointly hosted by Deloitte and Enterprise Ireland and is one of Ireland’s principal business conferences. It will take place today in the RDS, Dublin.

The CEO Forum attracts up to 350 senior Irish business people each year providing a platform for collaborative thinking, knowledge sharing and debate with political and business leaders.

Eighty four per cent are confident about their companies’ prospects for revenue growth in the next year. When it comes to challenges, over a third of businesses cited the availability of skills as the biggest challenge they will face in 2017.

CEOs were also asked about how Irish companies are faring since Brexit and what they expected for the next 12 months. Half (51%) of CEOs said they have a Brexit strategy in place. Of those who don’t, 60% are planning to develop one.

Currency fluctuations tops the list of Brexit related concerns for companies with 44% of CEOs citing it as their main worry. Increased costs are a concern for 23% with attracting talent (14%) and more bureaucracy (15%) also an issue for respondents.

All this said however, three quarters (73%) of Irish CEOs believe that Brexit provides a strong opportunity for more Irish companies to export to Europe.

Speaking ahead of the event, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon commented, “The survey results reflect that business leaders have ambitious plans for future growth with 73% of CEOs citing Brexit as an opportunity for more Irish companies to export to Europe.”

She added, “Our plan is to consolidate and grow positions in the UK market, while at the same time, accelerate our market-diversification strategy, helping more Irish companies to expand market share in mainland Europe and in other high growth markets.”

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